According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, nearly 400,000 burglaries take place in the United States between November and December each year. Families should be extra vigilant during these holiday times, especially if your home is filled with gifts. If you plan to travel during the holidays, here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a statistic:
Social Media – Avoid using social media to discuss your travel plans. Although you may want to let a few close friends know about the fun you’re having, if your settings aren’t tight enough, that information could get to potential criminals. Avoid using dates and any other identifying travel information.
Don’t leave a key unless you have to – Savvy burglars will think to look under the mat or in the planter if they know you’re not home. Entrust a key to a friend or neighbor, and avoid leaving one where it could be easily found.
Home Protection System – Consider installing a 24-hour home protection system which can automatically dispatch local authorities or install a web-based home security system that allows you to check on your home while away.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings – Did you know that most burglars live in the neighborhood where they commit the crime? As those packages start to arrive from your favorite store make sure there is someone who can bring them into your home if you are not available. Also, before unloading your car, make sure no one suspicious is lurking on your street.
If you’ll be traveling for an extended period of time, we recommend unplugging all non-essential electrical equipment. This will not only save on your energy bill, and help you go green, but also prevent damage caused by a power surge. Many appliances use energy even when turned off, so pulling the cord before you leave is your safest bet. Additionally, turn off the dryer, dishwasher or washing machine as a hose can break and lead to flooding or fire.
Finally, make sure to have all your mail, newspapers, and deliveries stopped or picked up by a neighbor, friend or relative.
Access Home Insurance wishes you a happy and safe holiday season.