January Safety Tips: Protecting Your Home After the Holidays January 6th, 2014
The winter holidays, which spin us around in a whirlwind of shopping, family and festivities from late November onwards, are finally over. With the start of a new year, we collectively take down the decorations, make a few resolutions, and get back to ordinary life. But, as we box up the ornaments and enjoy our new toys, the weeks immediately following the holidays can have some hidden dangers. Theft is a serious concern this time of year, as homes filled with new and expensive gadgets and systems are a tempting target for burglars. The good news is that it’s easy to reduce your vulnerability by following these simple steps.
To Protect Your Home Right Now:
Break Down the Boxes. Specifically, the boxes that your most expensive items came in: TVs, computers, game systems, stereos, and other electronics are particular targets. Leaving those boxes out on the curb for days just advertises the glittering gifts you have inside to crooks. You don’t want to make yourself a target to potential burglars, so keep the boxes indoors until the night before your garbage pickup, then break them down and put them in the trash cans.
Keep your Common Sense. Both the stress and the merriment of the holiday season can be distracting, but this is no time to forget the basics of home prevention. Follow the usual precautions: Lock your doors, even if you’re only leaving for a few minutes. If you’re going out for the evening, leave a couple of lights or the television on to help the house seem occupied. You can also close blinds or draw curtains so that your new purchases aren’t immediately visible from outside.
Invest in an Inventory. Having an inventory of your items drastically increases the chances of recovering them if your home is burgled. Take photos or videos of your valuable possessions, and make a note of their serial numbers. You can also consider marking items with an identifying number, such as your driver’s license number (but not your social security number!). Having these complete records will also greatly simplify the process if you need to file insurance claims.
To Protect Your Home All Year Long:
The tips above will help protect your home and family from some of the most common safety and crime-related holiday issues. But you may also want to take this opportunity to assess your overall security plans.
Inspect your Insurance. If you’ve been planning to get homeowner’s or renter’s insurance and just haven’t got around to it, make it a New Year’s resolution to follow through. Or, if you already have insurance, take the time to pull out your policy, check the provisions, and see if what you have still meets your needs. Are you fully covered for fire, flood, and storm damage?
Set Up Some Security. Locking doors and leaving lights on are good habits, but they don’t compare to a home security system that can really give you peace of mind. Whether you’re ready to invest in a new home security system, or upgrading your home security to add features like remote camera surveillance and smartphone integration, professional security can help keep your home, possessions and loved ones secure and protected through 2014 and beyond. So this January, start the New Year out right by taking these simple precautions to protect your belongings and yourselves.