This post was provided by Charla Housson, a realtor with expertise in Lake Travis ISD homes in Austin, TX.
The holidays are here! For most, it’s the time of year filled with gifts, parties and family vacations, but unfortunately, it’s also “Christmas time” for burglars who reap the rewards of vacant homes and unguarded valuables. Don’t be the victim of a holiday home invasion! Follow these simple tips for preparing your home to ensure a safe and secure home this season.
Create the illusion of being home
Burglars look for signs of inactivity when deciding which homes to rob. Be sure to take the extra steps of investing in a timer for lights, asking a neighbor to collect your mail and newspaper while you’re out of town, and pay someone to maintain your yard while you are away.
Out of sight, out of mind
Robbers know that under every perfectly trimmed Christmas tree are beautifully wrapped gifts. Window displays are a great idea for those who are home for the holidays, but attract unnecessary attention to vacant homes. Keep your trees and wrapped gifts out of sight if you plan to be away!
Hide the evidence
Some of us may be fortunate enough to receive fancy electronics, appliances, and other high-dollar items as gifts this year. Just be sure to keep the “evidence” under wraps. Break down and conceal product packaging in the trash. Better yet, dispose of these items in a public dumpster away from your home. Don’t give the crooks a reason to break in to your home!
Don’t broadcast your whereabouts
It is only natural to want to update your Facebook status, Twitter feed, and other social media channels with exciting news of your Christmas vacation, but resist the urge if possible. The fewer people that know your home is empty, the less likely it will be burglarized.
Inform your local police department of your departure
In many town, police will keep an eye on your home if you provide them with your travel dates. Call the police station a couple of weeks before your vacation to let them know when you will be out of town so they can assign someone to patrol your area.
Taking just a few precautionary measures can help you ensure your home is not a target for burglars this Christmas. Follow these tips and you’ll remain a step ahead of the thieves.