As the holiday season approaches, many of us look forward to festive celebrations, family gatherings, and maybe, some well-deserved travel. But amidst all the joy and cheer, it's crucial not to overlook one key aspect: Your Safety and Security. Here are some vital tips and reminders to help you ensure your property remains safe and secure, giving you peace of mind to fully enjoy the season:
Take a moment today to make sure your ground-floor windows are secure. Don’t stop at a visual inspection, but physically try to lift them lifting. Don’t forget to check the window’s top sash to make sure it’s closed. This is a top opportunity on many of the home assessments I conduct.
Always lock doors, shut windows, and activate alarms.
Don't stash spare keys in obvious spots.
Keep your car clean. Don’t leave ANYTHING visible in your vehicle. Bad guys will break your window for a phone cord or even clothing items to help them stay warm. The items may not matter much, but replacing a broken window can be expensive and time-consuming.
Ensure you can identify visitors without opening your door.
Keep valuables out of street view and position your alarm panel discreetly.
Dispose of high-end purchase packaging by breaking it down into smaller pieces before placing it in your trash bin or taking it to a dump site.
Never leave them on the curb.
Guard Outdoor Items:
Safeguard items in sheds, garages, and yards. From grills to bikes, make sure they're secure.
Now’s the time to take a moment to take photos of expensive items and record the serial numbers. This will help the police locate your property if it is stolen and provide documentation to your insurance company.
Inspect Motion-activated exterior lights:
Motion lights are a simple yet effective deterrent to keep intruders away. Inspect and test your outdoor motion-activated lights.
The easiest way to do this is to take a stroll around your property to look for broken bulbs.
Continue your stroll after dark to see if the lights come on when you come near them.
You can also check them in the daytime, but you may have to use a ladder to put the light in test mode and adjust settings.
Don't forget to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Don’t overload electrical outlets.
Use fire-resistant decorations and UL-certified electrical cords and lights.
Never leave a burning candle unattended.
Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire.
Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
Keep your Christmas tree away from fireplaces, or portable heaters.
Survey your property and trim overgrown spots, eliminating potential hideouts for burglars.
Keep your yard tidy to give the appearance that you are regularly home.
Follow Neighborhood Watch Sites:
Stay informed of security incidents in your area that neighbors post on neighborhood watch sites.
Create a Good Neighbor Network:
Inform trusted neighbors of your plans. It's always good to have an extra set of eyes on your home to remove flyers from your porch, pick up deliveries, and contact you if they see unexpected visitors on your property.
If neighbors aren’t an option, ask a trusted friend or family member to collect these items for you while you’re away.
Smart Security Upgrades:
Consider investing in smart home security systems, including cameras, lighting, digital door locks, and remote monitoring for extra layers of security.
Secure Wi-Fi Network:
Ensure your home Wi-Fi network is secure to prevent digital intrusions by updating your password and making sure your firewalls are up to date.
Also, consider adding a Virtual Private Network (commonly called a VPN) to your digital devices. VPNs are like your own private encrypted network that hides and protects your credit card info, passwords, and browsing history from hackers. They are especially essential when connecting devices to public WI-FI.
Secure important documents and valuables in a locked safe or fireproof container.
If you have children or expect young visitors, make sure your home is childproof, especially around decorations and gifts.
Hang breakable ornaments on higher branches, away from toddler reach.
Use empty boxes as decoration around the tree to create a barrier. Fill them with books to make them heavy and gift wrap them. It beats putting a gate around the tree, but that's also an option.
Keep decorations, food items, and festive plants that may be toxic to pets out of reach. We humans love chocolates, alcohol, and nuts, but neither are good for our fur babies! Poinsettias, Holly and even Christmas tree pine needles can upset furry family member's tummies.
Mistletoe can even be deadly if ingested in large quantities.
Check Local Crime Stats:
Many police agencies post updates on their social media Pages. Some agencies have websites dedicated to crime statistic reporting.
The Atlanta Police Open Data Portal provides detailed maps, category selections, and links to news reports associated with incidents.
The information provided in this post, "Holiday Safety Tips Topics," is intended for general informational and educational purposes only. While we strive to provide helpful and accurate information, we do not guarantee the completeness, reliability, or accuracy of this information. Please note that the safety and security tips shared here should be considered as suggestions and not as professional or expert advice. The implementation of any security measures is at the reader's own risk. It's always recommended to consult with professionals for specific advice tailored to your personal or business circumstances. Additionally, while we mention certain products or strategies, this does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of these products or strategies. Users should exercise their own judgment and research when considering the use of any security measures. Remember, every home and business environment is unique, and what may work for one may not be suitable for another. Stay informed, stay cautious, and always prioritize the safety and security of your home, business, and loved ones.