Monday, December 22, 2014

Keeping Your Home Safe During the Holidays

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC

The holiday season is a time to be spent with family and friends, reuniting and making lasting memories.  Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most common times of year in which many homes fall victim to burglary. According to the FBI, nearly 400,000 of these instances occur during November and December alone.

Criminals are aware that expensive gifts have been shared and material objects are likely unhidden. Therefore, your friends at Blais Insurance want to provide you with ways that you can protect your home this season.

Discard empty packages discreetly.
One of the easiest ways for thieves to tell if your home is a worthy target is from the waste and empty packages by your trash.  If you have big boxes that held TV’s or computers, be sure to break the packaging down and conceal it as much as possible. You may also want to wait to dispose of packing until the day trash/recycling is collected so it does not linger around and give would-be burglars any incentive.

Take pictures of your gifts and record serial numbers.
For any high price gifts, it’s a good idea to take note of as much information as possible. This is relatively easy to do and starts with taking a picture and saving it somewhere safe. You should also write down all serial numbers if items need to be traced. Additionally, any jewelry and other expensive items should be recorded with your agent to keep it documented in case of an unfortunate situation.

Use caution when posting on social media.
If your family is looking to get away after the holidays, be sure to filter your posts.  It’s an open invitation for burglars if they know a home will be vacant for an extended period of time. Additionally, be cautious about posting the larger, more expensive gifts you received for the holidays.  If they know what’s in the home, it’ll be easier to take.

Minimize visibility to outsiders.
Another mistake homeowners make is cautiously leaving their gifts under a Christmas tree in clear sight from the road.  If these items are visible from the street, potential burglars do not have to make much effort to break into your home. In order to try to avoid this problem, keep your curtains and/or blinds closed at night or position your Christmas tree at a more discreet location.

We understand that the holidays can be a stressful time of year, but it can also be the most wonderful.  Protect your home and loved ones this season by following these preventative measures and ensure your time spent together is joyful.  From all of us at Blais Insurance, we wish you a very happy holiday season!