January 23, 2019

Keeping Your Home Safe and Secure in Winter

Whether it’s due to shorter daylight hours or the decrease of people out and about, studies have shown that crimes against property (such as theft) increase during winter months.

Check out these tips to help you leave burglars out in the cold.   

Increase your lighting - Shorter days and longer nights give would-be thieves a natural advantage. Installing additional exterior lighting and keeping your interior lights on a timer if you work late can help deter them. 

Collect your packages - With more and more holiday shopping being done online, it’s easy for your front door to turn into a pile of packages. If possible, schedule deliveries at a time when you will be home to receive them.

Be careful warming your car - Many people leave their car running in the morning to help it de-ice and heat up, but doing so can leave you vulnerable to carjacking. Lock your car doors (make a copy of your key if there is only one for both the ignition and the locks) and keep an eye on your vehicle while it’s warming up.

Get to know your neighbors - When asked, former burglars claim that they have tricks to get around most security systems, but it’s difficult to escape watchful eyes. This is especially helpful when you know you’re going to be out of the house for long periods of time. 

Shovel your drive and walkways - Much like piles of mail, piles of snow in front of your doors can be a signal to thieves that you aren’t home and haven’t been for a while. 

Keep blinds and shades closed - No, you don’t need to live completely without natural light, but keeping your window coverings open all the time, especially when you’re away, can give the bad guys the opportunity to window shop your home.

Limit your posting… and bragging - It’s tempting to tell all of your friends that you’re jetting off to the mountains for a ski weekend, but you’re putting yourself, and your home, at risk. Burglars can figure out who’s going to be out of town by listening to conversations in public or searching online profiles that aren’t set to private. 

Upgrade your security - While cameras and security systems aren’t always a guarantee, they can definitely keep your home safer than it would be without them. Recent advances in home technology also make this a great time to upgrade to equipment like a doorbell that connects to your smart phone. 

Vet your visitors - It’s a best practice to always verify who is at your door before opening it, but it can be tempting to rush and open your front door when it’s cold out. After all, you don’t want to leave someone standing in the cold, do you? However, it’s still best to not open the door for any unexpected visitors.