"You're a mean one..."
The holiday season is a time for fun and festivities. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when many homes are burglarized and theft claims are at their highest. The criminals perpetrating these thefts aren’t typically professionals, but amateurs looking to quickly score items like electronics, jewelry, and gadgets from unsuspecting victims.
Here are some ways to protect your home during the Christmas holidays:
Be discreet when disposing of packages
One of the easiest ways for thieves to tell if there’s a wealth of valuables is from leftover packaging in your trash or recycling sitting on the curb. A quick glance and they’ll know what they will find inside. If you’ve got a brand new TV or computer, be sure to break the packaging down and conceal it as much as possible.
Watch out for porch pirates
If you prefer to do your holiday shopping online, it's a good to start customizing the delivery times and locations for your packages to help deter theft, says Consumer Reports. Shippers are taking additional measures to deter theft, but you should too. Have the carrier drop leave your package by a back or side door instead of the front door. You can also have the delivery made at a secure location like your office, or you can choose to have your packages held at a carrier’s location so you can pick them up at a time convenient to your schedule.
Minimize visibility from the street
Don't leave expensive gifts underneath the Christmas tree right in front of a window. If these items are visible from the street, potential burglars don’t have to make much effort to target your home. To prevent this problem, you should keep your curtains or blinds closed at night or you may also simply want to wait until Christmas Eve before you place presents under the tree.
Be careful with social media posting
If you’re going out of town, wait until you get back to post updates and photos to your social media accounts. Also use caution in posting pics of expensive gifts as you never know who is looking at your posts and might take advantage.
Take pictures 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 on your mobile device or computer. This will come in handy if you have to make an insurance claim.
Use common sense like putting lights on a timer, locking all doors, and utilizing a security system will help tremendously. Don't let a Grinch steal your Christmas, but if he does - contact your insurance company to check on coverage and deductables. It might not be worth making a claim, but it doesn't hurt to try...especially if high value items are stolen.