Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year!
It is also the time of the year for home break-ins and robberies. While we are out decking the halls and spreading holiday cheer, there are some who think the presents under your tree are all for them and not for your family and friends. I would like to give you ten tips on how to keep the Grinch away as we are out playing Santa Claus.
One- Be alert in and out of your home. I don’t mean that it’s necessary to be on lockdown, but, it’s important to be aware of what is happening in your neighborhood. Keep a lookout for vehicles that don’t fit in. For example, if you see an unfamiliar van or truck in the area over several days, this could mean they are staking places out or even breaking into peoples’ homes.
Two- Be cautious of your front and back doors. Beware of people that are coming around selling door to door. This is sometimes a ploy to get into your home to do a quick look at what you have in your home. If someone comes to your door that you don’t know, ask them to slip a business card under the door or through the mail slot. If they ask why, reply that you wish to call the business from which they are from. This should make the fakes leave, and those who are legit will comply.
Three- Keep your blinds and curtains closed from peering eyes. I know we all want to show off our beautiful Christmas trees, however, it also creates a window shopping opportunity. I would suggest closing them when you leave your home, and only opening them when you are home.
Four- Have your packages delivered to a secure location, and not dropped off at the front door for everyone to see them. This can entice someone to steal them right off your front porch. When I’m not home, I have packages dropped off at a trusted neighbors or have them delivered to my place of work.
Five- Don’t advertise in your trash. Destroy all empty boxes and place them in a trash bag. We have all seen it before- we are driving down the road after Christmas and see the big screen tv box on the curb for trash pickup. To a robber that says there’s new tv, and possibly many other new toys- please come and take them. After I remove the item from the box and know that I am not going to have to take it back to the store, I destroy the box it came in before I place it out for the trash pick up.
Six- Keep all doors and windows locked all the time. I know it seems dumb, but time and time again, people leave their doors and windows unlocked for some reason or other. I went to a family get to together a while ago, and when I came to their house, the front door was unlocked and we were able to just walk right in. I know, it was family but what if I had been a home invader looking to make an easy score? Please leave your doors and windows locked all the time, even if you’re home. It may be an inconvenience, but it may save you from a home invasion.
Seven- Make your home appear occupied when you are not there and have your mail picked up or stopped if you’re going to be gone longer than a few days. When we go on vacation or to work that is when many of the home invasions happen. A simple way to keep the people guessing if your home or not is to have lights, radios, and tv’s on timers. I also recommend getting a doorbell with a video camera in it. The doorbell is awesome- it allows you to see who is at the door and you can talk to them from your phone or computer giving the appearance you are home.
Eight- Keep landscape trimmed and trees cut back around your house. If you have small bushes and shrubs around your house or under your windows, make sure they are trimmed enough so no one can hide behind them. Also, solar lights are a great idea to put around areas that are not well lit, and it will allow you to see if someone is sneaking around your home.
Nine- Post your vacation photos after you come back from vacation and don’t post selfies of yourself from your vacation spot. Criminals look over the social media sites for people who are on vacation and post it in real time. They find out where you live and break into your home while you are gone, and by the time you come back from vacation, it is too late. I
Ten- Lock your garage and remove the door openers from your car. When you go away for the holidays, make sure you lock your garage door and zip tie the emergency release lever around the bar, so it can not be pulled.
The holidays are coming and so are the thieves. Take care and use these ten tips to make your home safer. These tips may save you from someone breaking into your home and stealing your Christmas memories from you and your family.
Have a Merry and Safe Christmas!
By: Curt Andrews
A Second Amendment Advocate