Nov. 18, 2019
The holidays are busy with plans to visit family, decorating and shopping. Many plan to go out of town, leaving homes vulnerable. We have compiled a few tips for you to keep your home safe and secure over the holiday season, including maintaining your home for the cold weather and safety tips while you’re away.
If you’re planning on travelling through the holidays, keep your travel plans off social media. Social media networks are prime hunting grounds for those who are scoping out properties for ill will. Even with the highest level of security on your social media accounts you could be exposing yourself and your home and you’d be surprised who else may come to the realization that you’re out of town. While it is tough to avoid sharing this info and photos. Sometimes the criminal activity is committed by a not so unfamiliar acquaintance of a family member or friend. Save the photos for after return.
Before you go on vacation, alert the local police that you are will be leaving. They will often add an extra round of patrol in our neighborhood to keep an eye on things and check on your property. Even if there is no hint of suspicious activity, the sight of a police car in a neighborhood can be an effective deterrent to criminal activity.
Make your home “look” occupied. Use timer for your lights. Stagger the on and off in each room to mimic your natural behavior and leave curtains where they normally are. Don’t forget to unplug unnecessary items and adjust your thermostat.
Delegate someone that you trust for help to pick up your mail and newspapers and set out / bring in your trash cans. Nothing says “we’re not home” better than a trash can that sits out all week. Another obvious empty home is a driveway full of snow and no evidence of tire tracks. Ask a neighbor to shovel your driveway while your away.
Before you leave, make sure that your security system and smoke detectors are working properly. Refer to your home security booklet or website for specific instructions. To test your smoke detector, hold the test button for a few seconds until the siren sounds. If nothing happens, you probably need new batteries.
Protect your pipes from freezing while you are away. Water damage is the 2nd most filed insurance claims in the US, averaging nearly $10,000. Before you leave, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors that have exposed pipes and leave a drip going on faucets fed by exposed pipes. Set your thermostat to at least 55 degrees while you’re gone.
While Christmas Tree fires aren’t common, they do occur and tend to be more life-threatening than other home fires. Keep your live tree well hydrated and away from heat sources. Make sure that your tree has fresh green needles when you purchase it and cut at least 2 inches off before your place it in the stand. Make sure the lights are specifically for indoor use and keep the tree at least 3 feet from vents, fireplaces and candles. When decorating, make sure that your glass ornaments are not within reach of little ones and curious hands. This also applies to ornaments that resemble food as small ones will attempt to place those in their mouth.
Safely hang your outdoor lights with a sturdy ladder. Same rule applies indoors when adding the tree topper or décor that stretches above your reach. Take an extra second or two and grab something sturdy to stand on. When decorating the outside, make sure that you are using lights and electrical cords marked for outdoor use and check for cracks, exposed cords or frayed ends. To be sure not to overload an outlet and for information on how many strands of lights can safely be connected, visit Energy Today’s helpful tips.
We hope that you’ve found these tips to be helpful. If you are in need of assistance over the holidays, please reach out to True Realty @ (720) 305-0757. We have resources that could be of use, including ones that can help you decorate and maintain your home while you’re away.