The Holidays are a time of great joy and good will for most of us. Sadly, not everyone honors the Reason for the Season. While good people are visiting friends and family for Christmas, New Year’s, Hanukkah (which came a bit earlier this year), Kwanzaa, and other holiday traditions, countless criminals see the Season as a prime opportunity for home invasions and robbery.
TeamFederal is dedicated to helping keep our customers and all our neighbors safely protected, so we’ve written a list of our Top-Ten Christmas & Holiday Safety Tips:
- We’re certain your tree looks beautiful, and a ton of presents under the tree is fun for the whole family. As much as you want to share the joy with your neighbors, it’s important not to tempt burglars with all those gifts. Setting up your tree away from any windows is a wise choice.
- Anyone who’s seen Christmas Vacation knows that putting up the lights can be a chore. Resist the temptation to use indoor outlets for outdoor lights, though. Sure, the shortcut saves time, but leaving the window cracked for cords just isn’t worth the security risk.
- Just like you tell your kids during winter, Layer Up! Establishing security layers not only makes a home more secure, it often discourages burglars from even trying.
Security layers include the following:
- Property Layer—out to your fence or perimeter of your yard
- Exterior Layer—the outside of your home such as the exterior side of windows
- Interior Layer—inside your home such as safes and the interior side of windows
- Santa doesn’t use windows, but burglars do. Establish secure windows by installing motion or entry sensors and video surveillance. Install sash pins on any double-hung windows. Throw a solid rod or board in the track of all sliding windows and doors. Also, apply glass protection film to all windows, because the strong film makes it very difficult and extra loud if a burglar tries to break the glass. NOTE—This tip is doubly true for ground-floor windows.
- Be sure to notify the Federal Response Center before leaving town. Also provide any short-term alarm response contacts and instructions, so we know who to contact if you are unavailable.
- Contact your newspaper carrier and the US Postal Service to suspend delivery—even if you’ll only be away for a few days. For gifts you’ve ordered online, take advantage of any delivery tracking tools and have a plan to get the packages off your porch as quickly as possible. You don’t want to leave an unintentional invitation for thieves to stop by and grab an easy “Christmas gift.” These simple measures can not only help protect you from potential robbery, they can help prevent identity theft.
- To give the appearance that the home is occupied, set your security system to turn the TV on and alternate which rooms are lit throughout the night. Or use a remote system, like FederalConnect™ to manage your lights and security features from your mobile device.
- Double up the strength of door locks by installing solid-steel door braces at the bases of all entry doors.
- It’s tempting to share all those joyful moments on social media sites when traveling, especially for kids and teenagers. But savvy criminals study Facebook, Twitter, and other resources to find easy targets. Play it safe and talk to your kids about why it’s important to wait and do any sharing online once you arrive back home.
- Opening presents is a blast, but getting rid of packaging can be a pain. Stacking boxes by the garbage can is the quick option, but it essentially advertises your beautiful new HD TV or other big gift to any criminal who passes by. You can help protect your family by taking a little extra time to drop the empties off at the recycling center.
Now that we’ve made a list, please be sure to check it twice—just like Santa—before your Holiday travels. If your home currently lacks the security equipment we have noted above, we can help. Feel free to give Federal Protection a call for friendly, expert security guidance: 800.299.5400
From everyone at TeamFederal to you and yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!