Holiday Safety Tips: Protecting Yourself, Your Purchases, and Your Home

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by Elli on November 27, 2012

While this is a good time of year to be jolly and joyful, it’s also a good time of year for thieves. A momentary lack of attention to this fact could result in the loss of expensive gifts, damage to a vehicle or a house, and undue stress and anxiety over having your personal space invaded.

Here are some holiday safety tips to get you through the holiday season, safely and securely:

Holiday Shopping

Believe it or not, not everyone at the malls and big-box stores on Black Friday are there to take advantage of all the good deals. Rather, they’re looking to take advantage of those who have spent their hard-earned cash.

One of the best security measures you can take while shopping is to immediately take your purchases home rather than keeping them in your car as you travel from store to store. This especially applies to consumer electronics, which often come in very identifiable boxes. Don’t cover them with a blanket, or beneath other packages. Burglars are too smart for this tactic. Take them home as soon as you leave the store.

Crowded Shopping Malls

On a very busy shopping day, like Black Friday or any weekend during the holiday season, the shopper with excessive shopping bags slung over their shoulders and in their hands is a target for a thief who will grab as many bags as they can and take off through the crowd of shoppers.

While shopping in the crowded malls, go in large groups and leave the mall with a manageable number of bags. If you can, don’t get a new bag at each store; combine your purchases into as few shopping bags as possible.

Receipts, Owners’ Manuals, and Warranties

Discarding these types of things will immediately give the burglar a good idea about some of the items in your house, as well as an idea about the likelihood of additional similar items. Instead of throwing them away or putting them in your recycling pickup bin, take them to a nearby recycling drop off or shred them.

Boxes and Other Packaging

If you’ve ever discarded a box from major purchase, like a computer, flat-screen television, tablet, or home theater equipment, there’s a very good chance two things occurred. One, you simply discarded the box, waiting until garbage day to break it down. And two, there were more than a few people who noticed the packaging in your bin.

One of the best ways to let a burglar know what you got as a gift is to put the boxes on display in your yard or driveway. There are several different approaches to dealing with product packaging, and most of them are common sense.

  • Turn them inside out.
  • Store them inside until garbage day.
  • Shred or tear them into smaller pieces.
  • Take them to a nearby recycling or garbage facility.

Whatever you do this holiday season, don’t carelessly toss these boxes outside. You are significantly increasing the risks of your home being burglarized.

Out of Town

Holiday season or not, there are several home security measures that should be used whenever you’re leaving town. A professionally installed home security system is your best option and is something that can reinforce other security measures. Check out what Tess Nacelewicz has to say about keeping your home connected for the holidays.

Motions sensors and outdoor security lighting are excellent ideas year round, as are dead bolt locks, sash locks for windows, and motion sensors for inside your house.

Additionally, setting television, radios, and lamps on random timers to simulate a human presence in your home is an excellent idea. Timers are relatively cheap and come in a wide range of options and configurations.

The bottom line during the holiday season is to use common sense. Don’t advertise your purchases, be discreet with product packaging, and don’t rush from store to store with your purchases stacking up inside your vehicle.

Do you have any other holiday security tips?

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