The holiday season is a time for family and fun. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when many homes are burglarized. The FBI reports “nearly 400,000 burglaries occur during November and December alone.”

The criminals pulling off most of these thefts aren’t professionals, but amateurs looking to score items such as electronics, jewelry and gadgets. Here are some ways to protect your home and keep it secure during the holidays.

Those of us with children know they want to see – and shake – presents under the Christmas tree. However, when these are visible from a window, the bad guys don’t have to put in much effort to see you have some stuff they’ll probably want.

To prevent this problem, you should keep your curtains or blinds closed at night or position your Christmas tree so it’s not seen from the street. You might also simply want to wait until Christmas Eve before you place presents under the tree.

Lights are a big part of Christmastime too. Driving around and looking at lights is a fun activity for many families over the holidays. However, lights can be more than decorations this time of year. They can also be an important tool in the protection of your home.

The last thing a burglar wants is to be spotted when attempting to break and enter. Install outdoor motion detector lights that come on when someone approaches your home at night. You should also set a timer for indoor lights if you will be away from home for a while. This will often serve as enough of a deterrent so potential thieves don’t want to risk getting anywhere near your home.