The holiday season puts everyone in a festive mood but some are out to steal your holiday joy. You might be inviting a thief to take part in your holiday festivities if the presents in your home are visible to passersby or if you have placed large appliance and technology boxes at the curb for trash pickup before trash day.

Here are a few tips to help you protect your home and valuables for the rest of the holiday season.

  • Avoid displaying expensive gifts and other valuables near windows or in areas visible from the outside.
  • Wait until trash day to set out television, computer or other expensive gift boxes.
  • Lock your doors and windows – including your garage doors. More than 60 percent of all burglaries show no sign of forced entry.
  • Use automatic timers to turn on lights, radio, or television when you are not home.
  • Ask a trusted neighbor to watch your home while you are away and be sure to have someone pick up your mail and newspapers to keep your home looking lived in. You can also stop mail delivery through a request to your local post office.
  • Create an inventory of the valuable items in your home by taking photographs and making a list of serial numbers.  An inventory may aid in the recovery of your items and makes insurance claims easier to file.
  • Use caution with door-to-door collectors for charity. Ask for information, investigate the charity, and give through their donation process online or through the mail. Do not give your personal or financial information unless you initiated contact with the charity.

I’ll be sharing tips for staying safe after your holiday parties and gatherings in my next blog entry.