Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to celebrate — but it’s also a time when burglars take advantage of holiday travel to break into empty homes.
You may be traveling or spending time out of the house with relatives—leaving an unguarded house–a prime target for thieves.
Here are 7 tips you can use to keep your home safe.
1. Double-Check Your Locks — All of Them
This may seem obvious, but leaving even a single entrance unlocked can make your house a major target. More than 30 percent of burglaries don’t involve forced entry — instead, the intruders use one unsecured door or window.
If you plan on being away from home during Thanksgiving, check your locks twice before you hit the road. It may save you some trouble down the line.
2. Ask Neighbors to Keep an Eye Out
If you have neighbors that are staying in for the holidays, ask them to keep an eye on your home.
Most burglaries happen in broad daylight, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. By asking a neighbor to help watch your house during the day, you can reduce the chance that a burglar can break into your home unseen.
3. Ask the Post Office to Hold Your Mail
If you’ve already started your Christmas shopping, a package may arrive while you’re away. By asking the post office to hold your mail, you can ensure that package won’t be stolen from your porch — a smart move, especially when you consider that package theft is one of the fastest-growing kinds of theft.
If you’ve already received valuable packages, store them out of sight — many burglaries are crimes of opportunity, and a package visible through a front door window can easily tempt a would-be burglar.
4. Consider a Security System
Houses with security systems are some of the least likely to burglarized. And while even the smartest security systems can be beaten by an intruder, the presence of a security system is enough to deter burglars almost seven out of ten times.
If you do install a home security system, make sure that its presence is well-publicized with a notice.
5. Leave the Lights On
Leaving the lights on at home will help make your home look occupied while you’re away. If you have smart lights or a smart television, you can program them to turn on after sunset to help you save on costs and be environmentally friendly.
6. Keep Your Garage Door Secure
When securing home entrances, some homeowners forget about the largest entry to their home — the garage door. It may seem too heavy or difficult to move, but that won’t stop burglars. Ensuring that your garage door is closed can help keep your home safe. You can even invest in a smart garage door opener, which can detect and alert you to forced entry.
7. Don’t Publicize Your Travel Plans
Thieves can scour social media to spot who is out of town and use that information to pick their targets. Consider either not posting about it on social media — or holding off your post until you’ve returned.
Thanksgiving and Home Safety
All these tips can seriously reduce the chance that a burglar targets your home while you’re away. Enjoy the season without worrying about security by being slightly cautious.
AUTHOR: KACEY BRADLEY
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Guides for Brides, Hotel Online and more!