Winter is right around the corner and with that comes increased home break-ins. With many of us traveling to be with family, it’s important to make sure your home is protected. We’ll dive into safety tips that you should consider with winter home security.
Winter Home Security Tips
Being pro-active is the best way to keep your home safe this Holiday season! Below are a few tips that we recommend when it comes to winter home security. Following all or some of them will reduce your risk of becoming a burglary victim.
Safety Tips- Invest in a Security System
The number one way to deter criminals from breaking into your house is with a home security system. Houses will often be scouted for days in advance to find the opportune time to attack. Winter home security has always been an issue around the holidays. CNN reported, “In California, for example, there were 21,900 burglaries in December 2011 – the latest statistics available – 18% more than the average month.” When thieves see cameras, security signs, and other items showing there’s a security system at the house they will immediately look for an easier more vulnerable house to hit. With a home security system in place, you’ll be able to enjoy your holiday vacation knowing your possessions are protected!
UtilityHound.com offers a variety of providers and plans online. Allowing you to choose the plan that works best for you and your home. Simply pick the plan you’d like set up along with an installation date, and checkout. It’s that easy! Working with some of the biggest national providers in the security industry allows you to get the best pricing that’s available. Visit utilityhound.com or call 888.959.0116 to speak with a representative about protecting your home.
Security Tips- Shovel the Driveway and Walkway
If you live in a snowy area this is one of the biggest giveaways that you’re out of town. Keeping your driveway and walkway shoveled let’s people know that someone is likely home. Would be thieves will take this into consideration when scouting houses on your street to break into. As they want to target houses that look un-kept and or uninhabited.
Security Tips- Locks Doors and Windows
Come, Winter, you shouldn’t be opening those windows as you did in the Fall. As common sense as this sounds…make sure all of your doors and windows are locked if you go out of town. The first things burglars are going to check for are unlocked doors and windows on the first floor. They’re looking for the easiest way into the home. They would much rather walk in through the doorway or slide a window open rather than having to break into one.
Security Tips- Put Your Lights On a Timer
Putting your lights on a timer not only saves you money on your electric bill but it also tricks burglars into thinking someone is home. Having routine lights that go on and off give the appearance that someone is home. Keeping your front porch light on, in addition to your indoor timed lights is also recommended. Keeping lights on also increases the chance for someone to witness an intruder attempting to breaking in.
Safety Tips- Purchase a Safe
Making things as hard as possible for potential thieves is key. If they break into your house they’re going to target master bathrooms, offices, and closets looking for high dollar items. It’s important that you store and personal documents, expensive jewelry and money in a high quality locked safe. It’s also preferred that the safe is grounded so that it’s not easily moveable. Check with an insurance provider as some even offer discounts for homeowners with safes!
Safety Tips- Spare Keys and How to Use Them
When it comes to winter home security tips one of the best recommendations is to not leave a spare key outside. We discussed earlier how you should be locking all your doors and windows. Well…leaving a spare key outside that door of yours isn’t going to help much when it comes to protecting your home. We advise that you leave a spare key with a handful of trusted neighbors. This way in case of emergency a trusted friend can still get inside your home if need be.
Safety Tips- Keep Holiday Lights On
Tis the season! You’ve spent a couple hours getting those holiday lights set up, so don’t be afraid to show them off. It’s recommended that you keep your holiday lights on every night to make it look like activity is going on at the home. Now you don’t have to keep them on all night long. However, we do recommend putting them on a timer that will keep them on till at least till 11 pm or 1 am each night.
Safety Tips- Don’t Leave Packages on The Front Porch
Earlier we discussed making sure your snowy walkway stays plowed. By collecting packages and not letting them sit for days it gives the appearance someone is home. When thieves see the same package sitting in front of your door for days it’s a dead giveaway no one is home. Ask a neighbor if they wouldn’t mind picking up any packages and newspapers until you return from your trip.
Safety Tips- Keep Your Curtains Closed
Keeping your curtains closed is a great winter home security tip. You don’t want to show off all of your nice electronics or other expensive items from the street. Keeping the curtains or blinds closed also prevents thieves from seeing the layout of your home. If they have an idea of how the inside of your home is laid out it makes for a quicker home invasion.
Winter Maintenance tips
We’ve discussed ways you can protect your home this Winter. However, we also want YOU to stay safe. We’ve compiled a couple maintenance tips that should be on your to-do checklist before every winter season.
Test Outdoor Security Equipment
Cold temperatures can really take a toll on your outdoor security equipment. Our first winter home security maintenance tip would be for you to make sure all outdoor motion sensors and camera are in working condition. It’s also important that throughout the winter season you continue to occasionally check these devices. Severe cold temperatures have been known to damage electronic equipment.
Keep Your Houses Pipes Warm
Do you have a sink that’s on an exterior wall? If so, it’s recommended that you keep the cabinet doors beneath it open when leaving on vacation. Leaving the cabinet doors open allows for the heat of the home to keep the pipes warm. You can also let a very small drip run from your faucet. Additionally, keeping outdoor hose covers over those knobs will also help to keep pipes warm. Following these steps is a great way to help prevent frozen and busted pipes this winter!
Have Your Chimney Cleaned
Everyone loves a warm fireplace in the winter. There’re very few things that are more enjoyable than relaxing around the fireplace in the evening. With that being said we want you to enjoy your fireplace and not allow it to be a fire hazard. Soot can and will build up if the chimney isn’t cleaned from the year before. A cleaning is relatively cheap and a reputable company can be located with a quick google search.
Keep Those Gutters Clean
This last maintenance tip is often overlooked. With leaves coming down in the Fall your gutters are likely filling up. It’s important to clean the gutters out before snowfall. Otherwise, the leaves will retain snow and really weigh your gutters down. Not only does this make it hard for melted snow to drain properly. It also can cause major injury if a heavy gutter falls down and lands on someone.