Protect Gifts, High-Dollar Purchases, and Peace of Mind After the Holidays and Year-Round with these Home Safety Tips and Smart Home Options

If there’s anything the recent holiday season reminds us of, it’s that there’s much to be thankful for and protecting family and home brings great peace of mind.

Experiencing a home break-in or theft is often the last thing on our minds following a fun season of happy holiday happenings – school concerts and performances, holiday parties, community events, and New Year’s Eve gatherings. However, following the holidays is prime time for thieves to steal recent Christmas gifts and post-holiday special deliveries, including gift returns and exchanges. Any time of year, a dark and deserted home is especially inviting to thieves who target properties that appear to be unoccupied.

At Alert 360, we encourage making smart home security one of your top New Year’s resolution. It’s an easy resolution to keep and delivers peace of mind throughout the new year and beyond. Following are our favorite tips for increasing the well-being of your family and avoiding your home is an easy target for break-ins:

15 Easy Ways to Protect your Home and Prevent Crime around your Property During and After the Holidays

• Be aware of porch thieves. Unfortunately, porch piracy is big news year-round. Keep this in mind when shopping online, handling returns and exchanges, or expecting repeat deliveries. If possible, have packages delivered to your office or require a signature for high-dollar items. Review our past blog for ways to protect deliveries post-holidays and all year.
• Avoid displaying high-dollar gifts or items where they can easily be seen through windows.

• Be careful when disposing of product packaging after the holidays, so that you aren’t “advertising” recent, big-ticket purchases, such as TVs, etc.
• Secure objects that might allow access to your home, such as ladders or trashcans that could be used to break glass, enter a window or scale a fence.
• Illuminate entries, with motion or automated lights.
• Consider smart lighting you can control with an app and use your home automation system to turn lights on/off remotely or set a schedule so that your home is never dark or it appears that no one is home.
• Secure all windows, including those on your second floor, and install deadbolt locks on exterior entrances.
• Never leave a key hidden outside. Burglars know all the best hiding places. Instead, install smart locks or Z-wave deadbolts, which allow you to secure your home from afar if a house sitter or friend forgets to lock up when checking in.
• Use peepholes and ask to see identification from service and delivery people. (Find more ways to stay safe when someone comes to the door.)
• Install easy-to-read and illuminated address numbers so emergency personnel can easily locate your home;
• Consider smart locks, which you can control via a mobile app and allows easy access to trusted neighbors who can check on your property if needed;
• Take advantage of today’s crystal clear indoor and outdoor HD home security cameras and video systems that help keep an eye on happenings in and around your home;
• Take advantage of today’s crystal clear indoor and outdoor HD home security cameras and video systems that help keep an eye on happenings in and around your home;
• Be aware of usual and unusual neighborhood activities and report suspicious behavior; and
• Check out our helpful blog “Why that $79.95 Home Security DIY Camera may not be a Secure Purchase” if you’re considering a DIY home security camera system during the new year.

Follow these steps to help your home appear occupied and to deter burglars if you plan to be away for several days:

• Install smart lighting as part of a home automation system that you control easily from an app, such as our free Alert 360 app options;
• Turn your telephone ringer down, so no one outside can hear repeated rings, and review your answering machine message to make sure it does not imply you are away or live alone;
• Arrange for continuing yard care;
• Put your mail on hold or ask a friend to pick up packages;
• If your vehicle is parked in the driveway, have a friend move it occasionally; and
• Never leave valuables in a vehicle parked outside, including garage door openers.

If your home is protected by a security system:

• Deliver the ongoing gift of convenience and a connected home with today’s connected devices, including sprinklers, sound systems, Google Home, Amazon Echo, and more. Today’s smart products, such as video doorbells, smart door locks and garage doors, also help make every day easier for loved ones.
• Add protection from high energy bills and reduce energy costs by considering a smart thermostat.
• Test your home security system monthly to ensure it is working properly before an emergency occurs;
• Help prevent false alarms by providing instructions on the operation of your system to houseguests and avoid placing moving ornaments or decorations, such as balloons, in the path of motion detectors.

In the spirit of the recent holiday season, where we reveled and rejoiced in all we have to protect and cherish, at Alert 360, we’re here every day to offer free security consultations or tips for creating a safe and comfortable haven for loved ones all year long.

For less than one family dinner out each month, a monitored home security system will deliver invaluable peace of mind and convenience day after day, through the first and the rest of the year. From all of us at Alert 360, we wish you and your families a secure and happy New Year.

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