Christmas is over and the wreaths are packed up. Your house is full of all of your presents. And that is what criminals are looking for.

Winter time is crime heaven for eager criminals waiting to rip off unsuspecting families.

You, however, do not have to be duped. Here are a few tips on how to not make your home a thief trap.

  • Let there be light. Adding lighting around your home is a great way to deter criminals. Instead of being able to lurk around unsuspectingly, criminals are easily spotted in brightly lit neighborhoods. This is one reason that crime tends to follow areas with little or no extra neighborhood lights. Thankfully, the holiday season is a great excuse to light up your house with Christmas lights and decor. But if you take down your lights right after you drink your last drop of eggnog, you could still be at risk. With daylight savings, it is getting darker earlier, so you have to keep protecting yourself until the days are longer. The easiest way is to install lights around your porch and garage. This is also for physical safety reasons as well. But that isn’t enough. Thieves will try and break in where there is not a lot of view, so make sure to install motion sensor lights in the back of the house to alarm thieves.
  • You have locks so use them. Thieves are rarely going to bust down a door to score an Xbox. It is too much risk of getting caught. However, if a thief walks up to a back door and finds it unlocked it provides a much easier way to steal. You see, criminals looks for easy targets. If they have to work too hard it is not worth it to them anymore. Do not make yourself an easy target. Make sure each and every outside door has a lock and that you have anti-slide devices on your external windows.
  • Don’t advertise that you are not home. A key time for thieves to target homes is when the occupants are out of town. Sure, it is OK to let your neighbors and family members know but the last thing you want to do is to let strangers know. Thieves look for clues to see if no one is home. Make sure to hold your newspaper subscription and call the post office to hold your mail. You can either pick up the mail when you return or have it all delivered to you at once. If not, enlist in a neighbor to do the deed for you. Install a timer on a lamp in one of your biggest rooms. Like I said before, light scares criminals. You can set the timer to turn on the lamp in the evening so it looks like someone is home. And while it might be tempting to brag to all of your Facebook friends that you are enjoying a fabulous Hawaiian vacation, think again. Do you trust and actual know all of your “friends” on Facebook?
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