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Holiday Safety Tips For You & Your Home

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Fireplace with stockingsThe holidays can be particularly stressful with last minute shopping, hosting family from out of town and traveling. So there’s nothing you need more than peace of mind at home while celebrating peace on earth. Whether you’re entertaining friends or out and about attending holiday parties, households are more vulnerable to break-ins in the winter months. That’s why it’s important to set yourself up for success by following these holiday season safety tips to keep your home protected.

Holiday Home Safety Tips

While you’re making a list and checking it twice, keep this list of Christmas safety tips in mind so you’ll have the happiest and safest of holidays.

No Place Like a Smart Home for the Holidays

Set up a home automation system with smart plugs to program your Christmas lights and other electronics to automatically switch on and off at regular intervals, giving the illusion that you are home. You can also control your smart light bulbs and other gadgets manually from your smartphone.

Another way to make your house smart is to install a doorbell with a camera to see who’s at your front door when the doorbell rings (even when you are away). Often burglars will pose as solicitors to see if someone’s home, and if not, permits them to enter.

‘Tis the Season for Scrooges

Santa might pop down through the chimney, but thieves come into your home in more traditional ways. So make sure your house isn’t the north pole for predators.

First and foremost, if your door is made out of wood or glass, upgrade your door to stainless steel then it won’t easily break under pressure from an intruder. Deadbolts are effective, but make sure they’re the kind that require a key on both sides or that you have a secondary lock as well. Better yet, get a smart lock that’s more difficult to pick (and have alarms built in them).

On that note, we highly suggest you have an alarm system and/or security camera. There are DIY home security systems to fit just about any budget these days. And don’t forget that it is important to clearly indicate on the outside of your home that you have a system via a sign or sticker, so any potential criminals know that your home is under surveillance.

Keep blinds and curtains shut when not at home and valuables out of clear sight from outside. A safe is a worthwhile investment to keep essential documents and higher-ticket items out of reach of visitors and potential intruders.

Trim the Tree… And Shrubs Too!

While you’re focused on having the prettiest Christmas tree on the block, also ensure your outside bushes are pruned back. That way burglars won’t have a spot to hide and peek inside. It also allows neighbors to see that pretty tree that you trimmed!

Speaking of trees, Christmas tree fire safety should be top of mind too. Sadly, people often neglect Christmas tree safety tips. Hot lights and dry needles can be a disastrous combo, so keep that tree watered and turn off those twinkles at bedtime and when not in use. You should also invest in a good base (like Genie XXL), so your tree is properly anchored. The last thing you want is all your fragile ornaments to come crashing down accidentally and potentially damaging your house or hurting someone.

All I Want for Christmas is U-PS

If you’re expecting deliveries, have a neighbor collect them while you’re gone. Not only does this prevent package snatchers, but it also keeps boxes from piling up on your doorstep, which is an indication that no one’s home. Amazon Prime now offers the ability to deliver packages to a third-party location or nearby lockers so you can rest assured your goods are in safe hands if you’re not at home to accept them (also comes in handy to keep surprises away from kiddos). Amazon’s Key service gives participating customers remote access to delivery people to put packages inside, but we’re not so sure about letting strangers unattended in your home (just yet).

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (for Hackers)

Christmas holiday safety tips go beyond physical safety too. Cyber Monday and online shopping is an opportunity for hackers to steal your credit data and identity. Use a VPN when using public WiFi and sign up for identity theft protection, so you’re immediately alerted if there is any suspicious activity. This proactive step will help you respond quickly and recoup your losses if an incident occurs.

Infographic: Holiday Safety Tips for You & Your Home

Here’s a handy graphic we created to show some of these ideas in action.

Infographic: Holiday Safety Tips for You & Your Home

To embed this infographic on your site, simply copy and paste the code below:

[infographic-holiday-safety-tips]

Is Your Home Naughty or Nice?

We hope that you’re doing some, if not all, of these Christmas safety tips this holiday season. If you’re headed on vacation, we also invite you to check out more in our home security while on vacation article.

What are your best tips to keep the home safe and sound around the holidays?

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As a new homeowner Sadie understands the importance of keeping her property, and all that's in it, a top priority. Through apps like the Nest thermostat and Nest Protect she can keep an eye on things and control the temp via her smart phone why she's away. She believes in being proactive in life and using technology to keep you safe. She enjoys decorating on a budget, small DIY improvement projects and all things HGTV.

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Joyce
I’m all packed up and about to leave for a week for the holidays, so glad I stumbled upon this article to make sure our house is extra secure. Where I live almost everyone leaves town making break ins that much easier since no one is around. I know many of these are simple, but in the midst of all the craziness we often forget little things so this checklist is very useful. Thanks!