Heightened security awareness is prudent during the holidays. An Garda Síochána warn that crimes increase substantially (30%) during the Christmas holiday season.
During this season, many people are out Christmas shopping. They are often distracted and carrying large amounts of cash and expensive gifts as well. Criminals know this and do their own shopping by taking advantage of such tempting opportunities to harvest victims!
Staying alert is probably the most important thing you can do to keep from becoming the next victim of a holiday hustler. Creating the impression that someone is home and installing visible security measures, such as CCTV cameras or alarm systems, can help to deter thieves and reduce the risk of a break-in.
We recommend following these seven home security tips to help protect you, your family and your home:
- Festive lighting – be secure. A common mistake of many festive decorators is to feed extension cables through partially open windows, criminals know to look for this vulnerability. When it comes to outdoor lighting, opt for solar or battery operated lights or install outdoor electrical outlets.
- Deterring would-be criminals is one of the most effective forms of crime prevention. Invest in a motion sensor flood-light or even some outdoor Christmas lights to highlight your home’s exterior. This will hopefully make approaching your home too conspicuous for a burglar.
- Install time-switch lights. If you travel or get home late, setting automatic timers to turn the lights on when it gets dark can help to create the impression that someone is home.
- Be careful not to advertise your home to burglars on social media! According to one recent study, social media is a commonly used tool for scouting potential targets. Social media savvy families have a tendency to publish their whereabouts during the holiday season, including any vacation plans. This lets burglars know when your house is going to be empty. Uploaded photos of pricey Christmas gifts can also be a problem as it basically allows burglars to go shopping just by viewing your Facebook profile.
- Check outdoor security equipment, such as lights and motion sensors, are working properly and haven’t been damaged by heavy rain or hail.
- Away over Christmas – plan ahead! If you’re going away at Christmas be sure to cancel any newspaper or milk subscriptions. Arrange for a neighbour to park on the driveway to help create the impression someone is home. Do not to leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages or and again make use of light timers. Store summer outdoor furniture and sporting equipment out-of-sight and under lock and key.
- A monitored alarm system is an added layer of security that can provide peace of mind. Seventy-one per cent of people don’t investigate or call the police when they hear an alarm, while a monitored alarm system ensures a response will be initiated and the incident appropriately handled.
For further information and advice on how to best protect your home and your family, call us on 071 9145107 or call into us on the Mall Sligo opposite the Hospital for a talk about protecting your home.