It’s that time of year again when crowds increase ten-fold at the shops, credit cards get close to their limits, and delivery workers visit homes so regularly that they’re practically guests – it’s the holiday season. While an exciting and busy time of the year, the holidays can also be an unfortunate season for security breaches and home break-ins. To keep the festive cheer flowing, homeowners and renters alike should take the proper security precautions to ensure a safe, stress-free holiday. Here are some tips to boost home security during the holidays – or any time of year.

1. Keep doors and windows locked at all times, even when home

It’s no secret that burglars choose homes that aren’t secure. According to law enforcement officials, many burglars enter through an unlocked door or window. To enhance security at entry points:

  • Place door locks approximately 3.5 feet away from any windows, pet doors, or openings that a burglar can reach through to unlock doors.
  • Install security alarms and cameras in all entryways.
  • Install deadbolt locks on doors – these are more durable and difficult for burglars to tamper with.
  • Add security bars to windows and doors for an extra level of protection.

2. Invest in security alarm systems

Security alarm systems can be a great deterrent for burglars. Not only will they alert home occupants of a potential break-in, but the sight of security cameras and security signs will usually put off a thief enough to move on to another target. Many home security systems now come with mobile apps which allow occupants to see what is going on both inside and outside of their homes at all times. Additionally, many systems are equipped with two-way audio, enabling communication with anyone outside.

3. Avoid posting holiday travel plans online

It can be tempting to share upcoming travels on social media– but resist the urge! Doing so can alert potential thieves that no one is home and gives them an open invitation to break in. Home occupants should wait until they return from vacation to post all the fun details of their trip. Occupants planning on being away for an extended period may want to let their neighbors know so they can keep an eye out for suspicious activity, collect mail and check in on the house regularly.

4. Be mindful of visitors

Holiday guests are always welcome – but not every visitor should be trusted. If there’s someone at the front door claiming to be delivery personnel or a repair worker, home occupants should ask for their credentials before granting them access to their property. Occupants can also require packages to be left outside or request that repair technicians have a referral before entering their home.

When followed correctly, these security tips can help create peace of mind. Investing in security alarm systems is one of the best ways to keep a home protected – but it is also recommended to install extra locks and security bars, and to avoid social media postings. Have a happy and safe holiday season!