While the holiday season is a time to embrace joy and festivity, there are always those looking to take advantage of any lull in your diligence. Atlanta has one of the highest crime rates in the country with over 1,000 incidents of burglary per 100,000 people. Before you drown in eggnog and bask in the scent of pine, make sure that you follow these key tips for your home’s holiday security.
Inform the Police and Trusted Neighbors of Vacations
Burglars know that families frequently journey out of town to see their relatives, leaving the homestead vulnerable and unoccupied. Instead of sneaking into your home under the cover of darkness, thieves will come in the middle of the day while frequently posing as a home service like movers or builders. A few lights on in the home can give the illusion of occupancy, but it’s a common tactic that burglars know. If your neighbors and the police know that no one is supposed to be there, a bustle of activity is bound to catch notice.
Move Valuables to Secure Storage
For your most prized possessions, the risk of leaving them in an easily invaded home while no one is around is simply not worth the risk. Self-storage solutions are relatively inexpensive with some offering daily or weekly plans if you don’t intend to keep using it after a trip.
Use a Holiday Wi-Fi Password
With friends and family spending time in your home during the Yule season, your Internet is bound to be a hot ticket item so they can use their mobile devices freely. Leaving your wireless network unsecured is not a viable option, but even a strong password becomes less of a failsafe as more people have access to it. One person’s compromised device could lead to an unwanted user gaining access, so limit their ability to do damage by adopting a special password just for the holidays. Once everyone has gone home, change it to a new one. Combined with proper network configuration and password construction, your Wi-Fi will remain secure.
Install Advanced Security Monitoring
In the past, a security system put a time limit on how long the burglars could hunt for a score, but the criminals were difficult to track down if they made it out with your valuables. Modern security systems have tools like video monitoring and online access that increase their ability to protect your home. In addition to adding resistance to theft, a robust system can detect common home hazards like fire and carbon monoxide leaks.
You don’t want to spend your entire vacation checking the feeds and reports, though, so you should enlist the aid of a full-service home security company instead. During the system’s installation, a skilled hand will ensure that every potential entrance and each necessary viewing angle is covered by the system. Monitoring services can report unlawful entries the moment that they occur, and the recorded video will make it far easier to pursue the criminal – increasing your odds of recovering the goods substantially.
Perform Final Vacation Checklist
Before you hit the road, take the time to make sure your home is in prime condition to survive your absence. Give it a thorough cleaning and turn off appliances to reduce the chances of fires while you’re gone. Lock all of the windows and doors before you activate your security system. On your way out, have your mail forwarded to a post office box or friend’s home until you return to avoid a paper build-up that warns of your absence. With that, have a happy and safe holiday!