This article was originally published on November 20, 2020 and updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.
The holidays are a time to celebrate, watch Christmas movies in your pajamas, and bake grandma’s handed-down-for-generations recipes.
The holidays, however, are not a time to deal with a home catastrophe. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), robbery and larceny increase by 20% in the month of December. To help you keep the “happy,” in Happy Holidays, we give you nine tips for holiday home security that can keep you and your loved ones safe this season.
1. Protect Packages Delivered to Your Home
In 2019, the U.S. Postal Service delivered hundreds of millions of packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. And in 2020, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, holiday shipping crushed previous records.
However, an increase in package deliveries, also could lead to an increase in porch pirates—robbers who steal packages right off your doorstep.
A great tip for holiday home security is to avoid becoming a victim of porch pirates by installing a doorbell camera that allows you to monitor your packages. Doorbell cameras often deter porch pirates from targeting your home altogether, mostly because they don’t want to get caught.
If they do try to steal your packages, your doorbell camera can help you catch them in the act or gather evidence of the theft by:
-Receiving motion-based alerts right to your phone anytime someone approaches your front porch.
-Communicating directly with people on your porch using a two-way intercom built into your doorbell camera.
-Capturing footage of any criminal activity that occurs to use as evidence when filing a police report or contacting the seller/retailer.
2. Monitor Your Home While You Travel
The holidays are frequently one of the most travelled times of the year, with many visiting family and friends, or jetting off on a luxury vacation.
If you’re still planning on heading out of town—even if for just a long weekend—your home security system can ensure your home is secure in your absence. With a monitored system, you can rest assured that first responders will be contacted in the event of an emergency, and with mobile capabilities, you can check in on your home’s video feeds right from your phone.
3. Help Avoid Frozen Pipes
When outside temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, you run the risk of frozen pipes. Temperature sensors built into your home security system can alert you if your pipes are at risk of freezing, hopefully preventing it.
If a pipe bursts, water sensors can notify you in real-time, allowing you to act fast and mitigate damage. For more information, here are some other tips to prevent your pipes from busting from the colder weather.
4. Keep You Safe in the Kitchen
So many of our holiday traditions tie back to the kitchen—whether it is the Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas cookies, latkes, etc.
However, cooking is also a leading cause of home fires, so it’s important to also consider fire safety when thinking about holiday home security. A monitored smoke detector in your kitchen helps expedite local firefighter response times in the event of a fire.
5. Protect Yourself From Holiday-Related Fire Hazards
Beyond cooking incidents, cooler weather and the holidays present all sorts of fire risks that other times of the year do not, such as:
-Menorahs and other candles
Strategically placed smoke detectors around your house can ensure that if the worst happens, you’re notified and action is taken quickly to extinguish the flames.
6. Protect Your Package Returns
We all make a few less-than-ideal gift purchases that we later must return from time to time. In the same way that a doorbell camera can protect holiday deliveries, it can also protect package returns. There’s been an increase in shipping returns thanks to the influx of online shopping.
When making a return from home, don’t just slap a return label on, and place your item on the front step. Monitor your package with your doorbell camera until it’s safely in the truck.
7. Ensure You Don’t Get Locked Out
The last thing anyone wants is to get locked out of the house when it’s cold or snowy outside. Smart locks that you can opened via a unique PIN or remotely via a mobile app on your phone guarantee that you’re always able to get inside. No more worrying about losing your key on the neighborhood sled-riding hill!
Smart locks are also helpful for unexpected guests or family members. Did someone arrive before you’re home? No problem. Remotely unlock your door so that they can wait for you in the warm house versus their cold car.
8. Keep Utility Costs Down
If your home security system is paired with a smart thermostat, then there’s a good chance you can reap savings on heating costs this winter. The thermostat will allow you to pre-program schedules or zones within your home, so that you’re only heating rooms when needed.
For example, if you’re going out of town for a holiday retreat, your thermostat can recognize that nobody is home and lower your heat accordingly, then increase a few hours before you’re set to arrive back home.
9. Prevent Home Break-Ins
The holidays often mean expensive new purchases, top-of-the-line electronics, and toys, which can be like a candy store to a burglar. While it’s a best practice to keep these items out of sight from your windows and to conceal packaging when tossing it in the trash, the most surefire way to protect yourself from a home break-in is a monitored alarm system.
If suspicious activity is detected, this system will emit an audible alarm, and send an alert to both you and your monitoring center.
Let’s keep the holidays joyful this year! If you enjoyed our tips for holiday home security, Contact us today to learn more about how security equipment can help keep your family protected.