Tips for a Safe and Secure Holiday Season

The holidays: joy and generosity, but also, sadly, crime. As you spend your money and fill your home and car with gifts, you need to be aware that some less than savory people are hoping to take advantage of your distracted, hurried state of mind. And even if part of the holidays is over, the season isn’t: these tips on extra home security are still timely—and perennial.

Tips for Extra Security During the Holidays

Shopping

1.       ATMs are notoriously vulnerable places. Your best bet is not to bother with them during the holidays: use credit cards or have cash already in hand. If you do use the ATM, cover the pin with your hand. Be aware of anyone behind you.

2.       Cash of course can be stolen (and unlike credit cards, you have no recourse if it is), so be careful how much you carry on your person.

3.       When returning to your car laden with bags, you don’t have free use of your arms to defend yourself. Consider shopping with a friend/family member and sharing the load so both of you have one hand free.  Plus, you get safety in numbers. Failing a partner, ask a mall security guard to escort you, especially at night.

4.       Never leave bags in your car, no matter where or for how short a time. Cars can be broken into quietly and quickly.

At Home

1.       Put lights on a timer. They can come on and go off at intervals, making it seem like you are at home even if you aren’t.

2.       Pull drapes or blinds if you have presents around the tree. The lights are fun for neighbors to see, but sadly, if you’ve a display of largess, you could be tempting less neighborly people.

3.       If you travel away, have a neighbor bring in your mail, newspapers, and put out your trash bins so there are no obvious signs of vacancy.

Home Security

Some kinds of security enhancers also enhance the value of your home.  A steel door, for example, because it adds so much security and withstands weather plus adds energy efficiency is one option. Interestingly, these doors don’t have to look like steel at all, if that’s not your aesthetic (check out this one from Colorado Home Exteriors). Such a feature will be as attractive to future buyers of your home as it is to you and your family while you’re living there.

Steel door for security

Speak to Your Realtor®

Your local real estate agents knows the crime statistics of your area well, and also knows what kinds of measures help you protect and add value to your home. If the holidays leave you feeling a little insecure, why not ask your Realtor® about security?

Wishing you a safe, and happy holiday season and New Year!

Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert