Many people enjoy the merriment and excitement of the holiday season. It’s important not to get so caught up in the enjoyment that you forget to Grinch-proof your home from would-be criminals. HRM Partners in Policing encourage you to play a role in protecting your home and valuables by following these Top 10 holiday home safety tips:
After a day of shopping, don’t leave parcels or valuables in your vehicle upon returning home. Remove all valuables such as purses, laptops, GPS devices and other electronics, and keep your vehicle free from clutter; even an empty shopping bag can create the appearance that there’s something in your car worth stealing.
Don’t display gifts in your home where they can be seen from outside. Hide or secure your valuables so they’re not visible through windows and/or doors.
If you’re going away for an extended period of time, secure your valuables or take them with you.
When putting your recyclables to the curb, cut up large boxes from new purchases and ensure you’re not advertising to criminals what new electronics/valuables might be in your home.
Etch an identifying mark, such as your initials, on valuable property and record the serial numbers. In the event such items are stolen, these steps will increase the chances of police returning the items to you if they’re recovered.
Don’t keep a spare key hidden outside your home.
Always keep your vehicle locked when it’s in your driveway, and don’t leave your garage door opener inside your vehicle as thieves can use it to gain access to your home and your valuables.
If you’re out for the evening, ensure your house appears lived in by leaving lights and a radio on. Remember to lock all doors and windows.
If you’re travelling this holiday season, put automatic timers on your lights, both inside and outside your home. Ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property. Have them shovel your walkway and driveway, and remove snow from any vehicles on your property.
Ensure they take in your mail, newspapers and packages; a stack of mail in your mailbox or pile of newspapers in your driveway is a sure sign you’re not home.
Don’t announce that you’ll be away from your home on your answering machine or any social networking sites.
Report any suspicious or criminal activity to police.