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Keep Your Home Safe and Secure While You’re Away

Taking Extra Precautions Can Reduce Common Holiday Risks at Home

DENVER, CO, December 1, 2007 — The holiday season is now in full swing and the cash registers are starting to ring with gift sales. Thieves are also doing some shopping of their own–in your home.

There are steps you can take to protect your home and your belongings while you’re out shopping or while you’re away during the holidays. The added benefits are great, too — adding a security system, locks and home alarms to your home will also result in discounts on your homeowners policy or your renters policy.

Keep Your Home Safe and Secure

According to the FBI’s statistics, a burglary occurs in someone’s home or apartment every 15.4 seconds. These are ways to keep the Grinch away and keep your home safe:

  • Keep your belongings out of sight. A stack of presents sitting on display is tempting to thieves.
  • Thieves target homes that look unoccupied. Whether you’re running errands or are leaving for two weeks, use automatic timers for your lights so that it always looks like someone is home.
  • Use solid core or metal doors that lead into your home, especially the door that leads from the outside of your home into the garage and from the garage into your home. Thieves consider the garage to be the weakest point of the house and the chosen point of entry.
  • Keep garage windows covered so that burglars cannot see in.
  • Use high quality Grade–1 or Grade–2 locks with deadbolts on exterior doors.
  • For your sliding glass doors, keep the latch mechanism in good condition and use anti–theft devices such as through–the–door pins, secondary blocking devices, and upper track screws.
  • Follow similar precautions for windows, including securing all accessible windows with secondary blocking devices and anti–theft devices to keep thieves from lifting out windows.
  • Use exterior lighting for your front door and along pathways that allows at least 100 feet of visibility.
  • Use sensor lights in the rear of your property to keep that area well–lit at night.

Using an Alarm System and Security Companies

The installation of an alarm system in your home provides you with an added level of security. When you use alarm stickers in windows to make it visible that a system is in place, most home burglars tend to avoid your home. The plus–you can also qualify for a 5 to 20 percent discount on your home insurance policy.

The use of a security company provides even larger insurance discounts of between 15 to 20 percent, offering a number of options and advantages. Not only can their service protect your home against burglary, the use of fire and carbon monoxide alarms are of particular value during the winter months when heaters and fireplaces are most in use.

Away for the Holidays

Aside from locking up your home tight, setting the alarm and the automatic lighting timers, there are a few more tasks to add to your to–do list before you leave on your holiday vacation.

  • If you subscribe to the paper, make sure to have it stopped for the period of time that you’re gone. A stack of papers is a sure sign that you’re out of town.
  • Put your mail on vacation hold.
  • Have your neighbors lend a hand by keeping an eye on your property and reporting any suspicious activity to the police. They can also shovel snow and keep the home looking like someone is still at home.
  • Disconnect garden hoses, then drain and shut off the water system. This can avoid unexpected bursting of your pipes, which could ruin an otherwise wonderful vacation.

Check Your Home Insurance Policy

Homeowners and renters insurance policies include a standard level of coverage for jewelry, but it is limited to $1,000. If your holiday shopping included the purchase of a $10,000 diamond bracelet for your wife or $15,000 Rolex for your husband, you’ll want to talk to your agent about adding a jewelry floater to your policy to cover those items. If new electronics or antiques are part of your gift giving plans, or if the purchase of any item has a value of $5,000 or more, the need for an additional floater also applies.

The benefit of protecting your home during the holidays is two–fold–you keep your home and belongings safe and you also qualify for discounts on your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Learn more about ways to save on home insurance, to save on renters insurance, and how to get a free online quote for homeowners or renters insurance.

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