'Tis the Season to Prevent Theft
The holidays are about celebrating with family and friends. Though, it can also be a time for break-ins and stolen possessions. Before you leave for a holiday vacation, make sure your home is protected with these tips:
Make it look like someone is home
One of the most efficient ways to prevent theft is to make it look like you never left home. This can be done by leaving a vehicle in the driveway and leaving your lights on. Automatic timers can be set up for indoor, outdoor and holiday lights. In addition, if you are more on the technical side; you can link your smartphone to your home computer or Smart TV to play videos remotely, so it will look like someone is having a movie night.
Have a mail strategy
An overflowing mailbox and piling parcels is a hint for thieves that your home is unoccupied. Be sure to call the local post office and ask them to hold your mail until you return home. With any online purchases, there’s the option to customize delivery instructions. For instance, you can ask to have any parcels dropped off at the side or back door to avoid potential robbery. Or you can also choose to pick up your online purchases from the store or a carrier’s location.
Use the buddy system
Neighbours look out for each other and you shouldn’t hesitate to ask one or two of your neighbours to keep an eye on your home while you’re away. Ask if they can put out the garbage and/or recycling, or shovel the driveway. Some neighbourhoods even have a Neighbourhood Watch chapter where you can inform them when you will be going away and they will periodically keep an eye on your house.
Keep valuables hidden
Holiday shopping can be fun, just remember not to leave any presents in your car or near the window of your home. It’s nice to have a Christmas tree with presents by the window, but it could potentially be easy for a thief to break-in and steal the gifts.
If a thief does manage to break into your home, make sure your valuables are safely hidden. A good tip to hide any laptops or iPads is to store them in a closet wrapped in a towel, blanket or sweater. Make sure any expensive jewellery, family heirlooms or important documents are kept in a safe. If you have a superior safe, there’s a slim chance an average thief would be able to break into it, especially if it’s bolted down.
Be social-media savvy
It can be fun to share #HolidayVacation plans and photos on social media, but be aware thieves can potentially see your posts. Try to avoid broadcasting your whereabouts and enabling your location on social media. When you post, the information is easily found online, and tells potential thieves how far away you are and when you’ll be back. If you really want to post that family holiday selfie, make sure your account settings are privatized or wait till you return home.
Have your holidays be merry and bright with Desjardins Home Insurance. Cherish time with your loved ones during this special time of year.