7 Tips to Protect Your Home From Break-Ins Over the Holidays


If you are traveling for the holidays, the last thing that you want is someone breaking in your home while you’re away. Here are several suggestions to prevent home break-ins from happening this holiday season.

1. Make sure that all of your doors and windows are locked and properly secured. This seems obvious, but in the safe and friendly communities of the Northwoods, where so many people habitually leave their homes and cars unlocked, it warrants particular emphasis here.

2. Disengage your garage door opener. Many garage door openers, even modern ones, can be hacked into easily. After rendering your garage door opener inoperable, use a manual lock on your garage door.

3. Set up your home security system. Advertise your home’s protection by applying stickers to your windows and placing signs on your property. Make sure the alarm is properly set when you leave your home, and alert your representative from the home security company that you will be away for an extended period of time. And even if you don’t have a security system, deter would-be intruders with stickers cautioning that your home is protected.

4. Leave your spare key with a trusted friend, family member, or house sitter. Arrange for them to take in any packages that arrive while away, occasionally turn on the faucets to make sure the pipes haven’t frozen, and even put out the garbage cans on schedule so your routine appears to be the same. Do not leave a hidden key on your property.

5. Make sure your home appears as if someone were home while you’re away as much as possible.

  • Arrange for someone to plow the snow in your absence (although a foot of snow may make it slightly more difficult for someone to break into your home, it certainly won’t prevent a break-in from happening).
  • Have your newspaper and mail delivery held while you’re away.
  • Set a few interior and exterior lights on timers.
  • If you normally have all of your blinds open while you’re home, do not keep them all closed when you’re away. Remember, people who are looking to break into homes will notice signs that your routine has altered.
  • If you have voicemail on your landline, check it periodically and delete your messages. Having a full voicemail box is a good indicator that someone is away.

6. We understand that you are excited about your trip, but we urge you to resist the temptation to advertise that you’re going away on social media. Double-check that your address or phone number isn’t posted on social media or elsewhere on the internet. It is easy to do a Google search from a phone number and link it to an address. Don’t worry; you can safely post all your amazing photos from your trip after you return.

7. Do not let your GPS device lead an intruder to your home. Don’t set “home” to your actual address; input a nearby intersection or business instead. If your car is broken into while in the parking lot of a hotel or airport, the intruder will be tipped off to your address and your absence from it.

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