Holiday Security Tips
It's a beautiful time of the year, but the holidays come with some inherent risks that you should prepare for amidst all the gift buying, cooking, and decorating. Here are some of our top holiday safety tips to keep your home and loved ones safe over the season.
Theft and Burglary Prevention
Do not put empty boxes out on the curb until trash day. Leaving boxes for TVs, expensive electronics, or other valuable items can essentially become a curbside shopping list for burglars.
"Porch pirating" is the unfortunate practice of driving around residential areas scoping for delivery packages to run up and snag, and a study showed that 25.9 million Americans have been victim to this. If you have any packages delivered to your home, it may be wise to require a signature so it's not sitting at your front door. Alternatively, you can have packages sent to a local carrier for pick-up or to your place of work if your employer allows it.
If you are away from home during the holidays, ask someone to make tire tracks in your driveway, shovel the walkway, check your mail and pick-up newspapers from your porch. You can also call and halt newspaper delivery for the time period you are going to be away.
Give the appearance that someone is home by setting your lights up with timers or z-wave devices that can connect to your home security system. With these tools, you can set times for lights in the house to turn on and off.
At FSS Technologies, we help our clients use Alarm.com, which can be used to set schedules for lighting controls, allow the certain people in using limited-time codes, keep heat at a stable level, and check on your pets through your wireless cameras.
Another tip is to be careful what you post on social media. Do not announce on Facebook or Twitter that you are leaving your home unattended by sharing live images of you on the beach or sharing any itinerary details. Your photos will still be beautiful and relevant a few days later when you share them from home.
Make sure to keep your vehicles and house locked up. Nearly one third of all burglars enter through an unlocked door or window. Alarm.com can help reassure you that your doors are locked and that no windows have been opened in your absence.
Electronics that have been stored for most of the year can become damaged and be hazardous for your home. Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 45% of home Christmas tree fires. Check electrical holiday decorations for wear and tear, including extension cords. Additionally, ensure that you do not overload circuits or electrical outlets.
Another tip for fire prevention is to keep your tree watered daily! Dry Christmas trees are a dangerous fire hazard and can become completely engulfed in flames in just a few seconds after being ignited. Additionally, keep it away from open outlets, plugs, candles, or switches. More than 22% of Christmas tree fires are related to trees being too close to a heat source.
Don't leave your kitchen when cooking. Unattended cooking equipment is a leading cause of home cooking fires.
Be mindful of where you place candles and don't leave them lit if there is no one in the room. Home candle fires are at their highest in December, and the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year's Eve. Consider using battery powered candles that mimic the real thing and come in a variety of colors, sizes, and scents.
Check all batteries in smoke detectors and do a family fire drill before the holiday season kicks off. Also make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home – especially near sleeping areas. The friendly, expert team at FSS Technologies can help guide you in your fire system set up and monitoring.
Keep the Season Joyful
It's easy to get caught up in the festivities and excitement, but don't let that distract you from protecting yourself and your family! Review your family emergency procedures, and make sure you know your stress code and duress code for your security system. Taking these all these necessary precautions will ensure your holidays stay joyful.
The Best Safety Measure You Can Take
Security systems are a significant deterrent for potential burglars, and they can also be the life-saving factor in the unfortunate event of a home fire. Our team is happy to help if you have any questions about setting up a system in your home. Give us a call today at 888-412-5356.