The holiday season is upon us and people are out and about getting ready for the festivities. Holiday parties are on practically everyone’s list either as hosts or guests. However, this time of year is also a peak crime season. Taking advantage of home security alarm and monitoring while routinely locking doors can prevent most crimes of opportunity during the holidays.
Most crimes are ones of opportunity. They are committed by thieves wanting to illegally gain from others with the least amount of risk to themselves. Holiday parties usually have guests filling up driveways and parking on streets. More than one home in the neighborhood may have a holiday party the same evening. It gets dark earlier providing cover of night for criminal activity, and people sometimes forget to lock their doors and keep their valuables out of sight.
This is equally true for homes and automobiles. People routinely leave valuable items such as cell phones and GPS units in plain sight in vehicles while forgetting to lock doors. Some partygoers may be asked to leave keys in their cars in case the vehicles need to be moved. During a party, guests coming and going leave home doors unlocked. This allows open access for thieves to quickly steal valuables seen through windows.
Whereas breaking a window of a home or vehicle to grab valuables may bring unwanted attention, an unlocked door is like an open invitation to thieves. Since most criminals are opportunists looking for an easy score, deny them the privilege by keeping doors locked and never leave keys in a vehicle. The holidays are also a peak season for vehicle theft.
Holiday Party Security Protocols
Tell guests to lock their car doors. Tell them that the doors of the home are also to remain locked. Advise them to stick to using one entrance to go in and out, and have someone monitor that door. Use the home security monitoring system on chime alert so that a sound is triggered at the alarm panel each time a door or window is opened. Investigate a chime when it is not caused by the designated entry and exit door being opened.
Security alarm and monitoring systems that include surveillance cameras at front doors are great for identifying who is there before opening doors. Home invaders take advantage of situations where guests are coming and going. Parties where known guests are permitted to bring friends unknown to the homeowner are a greater risk.
Be sure to check every door and window before retiring to bed to make sure that none have been accidentally or even intentionally left unlocked. There has been more than one party where a guest has set up the home for a later burglary attempt days after the party ends.
Advertise Home Security Measures
Since most burglars and home invaders are looking for targets that are going to provide the least resistance, prominently display yard signs and decals that announce that the home is protected with an active home security and monitoring system. Though it is tempting to show off the Christmas tree through the open curtains of the living room window facing the street, opt to keep the curtains drawn to deny prying eyes a look at the goodies inside the home.
Be certain that every bulb in the motion detector lights is functional. Check the point of view of any surveillance cameras. Trim back any hedges or other vegetation that block a clear view. Have the angle of view adjusted for any cameras where views may have been altered due to windy weather. Proper planning for home security leads criminals to bypass the protected home for an easier target elsewhere.