With Thanksgiving around the corner, Houstonians are gearing up for a festive holiday season.
The colorful twinkling lights are lighting up our homes in the dark, the special sales flyers from our favorite stores are arriving in the mail and grandma’s favorite recipes are being planned and prepared. While most of us are in an exciting cheerful holiday spirit there are those who do not have such happy and wholesome intentions in their plans for the next few weeks. According to calculations by the Brennan Center for Justice, Houston has one of the three highest murder rates in the nation. What more, records show that during the holiday season there’s a rise in criminal activity, including burglaries, robberies, car break-ins, and theft. Since Halloween of this year, many car break-ins have already been reported. Home invasions are on the rise and thugs looking for easy access to homes and possessions are abundant.
Here are some holiday security tips to ensure your holiday season stays as festive and exciting as you planned it.
1. Do not leave valuables on display in your home that is visible to the outside. Thieves scope out neighborhoods to evaluate which homes would be worth breaking into. By displaying expensive possessions outside, you are making your home a target. Also, consider notifying a neighbor to take any packages that get delivered to your door while you are away as anyone can walk off with them when passing by. Always makes sure your valuables are not visible to others.
If you must keep a gift or purse in your car, place it in the trunk so it will not draw attention from anyone passing by. Ideally, do not keep any valuables in your car at all. If someone does break into your car don’t give them an opportunity to take something you will be sad to lose. By the same token.
2. Install a smart doorbell with audio/video capabilities so you that you can watch and replay anything motion detected on your property. This is a great tool to have both when you are home or when you are away. If any motion is detected you will receive a notification so you can see exactly what is going on outside your home. Even at night, the doorbell has an illuminating light allowing you to see visitors when it’s dark outside. With a Ring doorbell, you can see if someone is inspecting your home for a possible break-in or you can provide the police an image of someone who broke into your car. This is a great tool also when you are away on vacation. The doorbell will ring straight to your smartphone and you can answer the door pretending to be home, thus thwarting a burglars intentions.
3. If you are traveling for the holidays make sure your home does not disclose that it is empty and vulnerable. Set your lights to go on and off at different times, giving the illusion that someones home. You can do the same for your TVs and radios if they are part of your smart home security system. Make sure to check your system before you leave to ensure all windows, doors, and gates are locked and arm your security system to notify you if there’s any breach in the system. Also, make sure to stop your mail and newspapers from being delivered and ask a neighbor to ensure no deliveries or newspapers are left around your home.
These are just a few ways you can protect yourself, your family and your possessions during this holiday season. A great home security system can make you feel safe no matter if you’re celebrating with family at your home, friends at theirs or travel to another state.