Every year, as the holiday season gets into full swing, the number of robberies and house burglaries increases. For years we have been warned not to leave boxes and other packaging from expensive and large purchases where they are easily seen by passers-by. There are other things you can do to help make the holidays safer for yourself and your family. A few extra minutes can make the difference between a happy holiday and one full of fear because your home has been entered.
The Bloomington Police Department suggests that you engrave valuables with a number that is unique to you alone. They do caution not to use your social security number, however. Having this number where it can be seen by possible thieves can make them think twice before taking that item.
Whether you are leaving the house or coming home, have the necessary key ready. Don’t stand outside digging in your purse or pocket for the key as this gives potential burglars time to attack and grab the key.
Keep your home occupied
At least, make it appear that someone is home. Leave a radio or television turned on and have at least timers set for turning lights on and off. If you are gone for two or more days, have a neighbor collect your mail and newspaper and hire someone to keep your walk shoveled to make it appear someone is home.
The Seattle Police Dept. suggests putting an anti-theft device on your car or setting the alarm every time you park it. They also advise people to install ADT Security Systems in Seattle Washington. Skilled burglars only need ten minutes to clean your house out.
Where’s your tree
If you tend to put presents under your tree throughout the season, place your tree where it is not easily seen through the window. The temptation of all those presents under the tree could be the deciding factor for a would-be burglar.
Don’t carry so many packages at once that you are unable to get a clear view all around you. It is necessary to stay watchful at all times when you are out during the holiday season. Be wary of any strangers who approach you while out as many times, thieves will work as a team, with one person distracting you as the other steals what they can.
Strangers at the door
If you don’t know the person ringing your doorbell, insist on seeing identification and verification of where the visitor is from before opening your door. Even opening it a little can give someone a chance to get their foot inside and force their way in.
Report suspicious people
If you notice a strange car parked in the neighborhood, especially with the driver just sitting in it, or a person who seems to be behaving suspiciously, such as walking past the same house several times or slowing down and looking at each of the houses, don’t hesitate to call the police and have them check the person out. While it could be nothing, it could also be someone casing the neighborhood for an opportunity.
Follow your instincts
If someone or something does not feel correct to you, trust yourself. You know you didn’t leave a certain light on and it is on now? Don’t enter the house. If you hear a noise in the night that sounds like a person inside, even if your alarm doesn’t sound, don’t investigate. It is much safer to call for help and find it isn’t necessary than it is to investigate a “harmless noise” and find out it is a burglar.