Christmas is an exciting time of year. Trees and decorations are up, baking and meal planning begins and gifts slowly start appearing under the tree. Christmas is also the season of increased home break-ins and house fires.
Take a few moments this season to ensure that your home and family are safe this holiday season.
- Burglars don’t like to be seen. Consider using external dusk till dawn lights on the exterior of your home, and timers on your interior lights. If you have an alarm system, it might be time to upgrade and include a surveillance camera.
- Leaving a radio or TV on when you’re out of the house can make your home appear occupied.
- Make sure your alarm system is in working order and remember to turn it on when you leave the house. Make sure that your alarm codes are hard to guess. 1234 is not a secure code. If you don’t have an alarm system you might want to consider it. Most home insurance plans offer a premium discount to homeowners with alarm systems.
- Ensure your smoke detectors are working properly and if they can be attached to your monitored alarm system you may want to consider doing that.
- If you are going to be away for an extended period of time, ask a trusted neighbour to help you make your home look occupied. Ask if they can shovel your walk, pick up your mail, open and close your blinds and possibly park a vehicle in your driveway. You may also want to ask them to ensure your furnace is working in your absence to avoid issues with frozen water pipes.
- You may want to consider turning off your water if you’re going to be away and adding a water sensor to your alarm system.
- Make sure your doors are locked, even when you are at home. An unlocked door with a set of keys close at hand create an easy opportunity for a thief to get possession of your house key so they can return at a later time.
- Expensive presents on show under the tree are a welcoming invitation for burglars so try keep presents out of sight. When you are shopping remember the same tip, don’t leave shopping bags visible in your vehicle.
- After Christmas don’t leave any gift packaging outside your home advertising any new and expensive items that are
- Avoid publicizing your travel plans on social media. Making it known that you will be way for a few days gives thieves a great window of opportunity to clean you out, and even damage your home.
- If you’re new to your home, you may want to re-key any locks and update security codes if you didn’t do it when you moved in.
- Make sure your Christmas tree and presents are a safe distance from fireplaces or open flames. The incidents of house fires go up during the holiday season.
- Put timers on your tree lights so you don’t forget to unplug them and risk them starting a fire.
Now that you’ve gone through the checklist and made your home and family safe, be sure you take time to enjoy this time of year. Be grateful for your home, your friends and your family and share the spirit of Christmas with those less fortunate.