Home or Away for the Holidays? Top Tips to Secure Your Home from Burglars

Home or Away for the Holidays? Top Tips to Secure Your Home from Burglars

By Franklin Mutual Insurance
Posted in Home Tips
On December 13, 2021

Keep your holiday cheer this year by learning the best deterrents for potential burglars and tips to prevent your packages from being stolen! 

The holidays are the most festive time of the year. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most active for burglars and “porch pirates.” In fact, a CNN study found that burglaries jump the week of Christmas, but even the everyday burglary stats are not jolly.

In fact, according to the FBI –

There were 1.2 million burglaries in 2018.

  • A burglary happens every 25.7 seconds.
  • Approximately 66 percent of all burglaries happened at residential properties.
  • The average dollar loss per burglary offense was $2,416, with an overall property loss of $3.4 billion.

Pew Research found only 13% of reported burglaries are solved by the police, which means if you lose something – it's most likely gone for good.

So keep your holiday cheer this year by learning the best deterrents for potential burglars and how to prevent your packages from being stolen! 

 Add a new level of protection


An alarm system is a real deterrent for holiday package thieves. Alarm.org found 90% of convicted burglars said they would avoid homes with alarm systems, and homes that have a security system are 300% less likely to be burglarized.

A home security system also provides peace of mind by letting you:

  • Monitor your home remotely and relax while you're away.
  • Protect your home while you're at work, considering most home robberies occur between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Secure less frequently-visited entry points, like a basement window or the garage door.

If you do upgrade, just remember to activate it when leaving your home. You’d be surprised how many homeowners forget.

Not ready for a full-blown alarm system yet?

Upgrade your home’s tech

Smart home tech now allows you to be an elf on your own shelf. Install a few security cameras, a video doorbell, motion lights, smart locks, etc. These devices will let you see who is at your door, even when you're not home, and they also record suspicious activity, like someone stealing packages off your front porch.

Stick to your daily routine 


It may seem a bit counter-productive since burglars can learn your schedule, but if you’re away for the holidays or just out shopping, you don’t want a burglar to notice you're not home. Use timers to turn on and off your lights, TV, and other appliances to make it look like you're home. Smart lights and smart plugs can help by giving you the power to switch on and off your lights from your phone. 

Trust a neighbor 


Give your neighbor a key to your house and the alarm code in case of an emergency. Ask them to keep an eye on your home and collect newspapers and any flyers by your door.

 This is important as burglars sometimes mark homes by placing a flyer in the mailbox or your screen door handle. If they see the flyer hasn't been moved, potential burglars know you're away for the holidays. 

Remove any spare keys 

You don't still keep a spare key under the flowerpot, do you? How about a rock? Or even the mat? All the usual places people keep keys, a burglar knows where to search. 

Instead, keep your friends close and your key at a trusted neighbor's house. Or better yet, install a smart lock with a keypad, so you don't even need the key anymore.

Use your delivery options


Getting a lot of packages this year? Prevent package theft by utilizing the options your delivery service offers. Simply log in to the service's website, search by tracking numbers, and click delivery options. You can ask the delivery drivers to drop the packages at an unusual locale, like a side door or back porch, or even have your packages delivered on the day of your choosing.

Home for the holidays quick safety tips 


Try these simple tips to keep your home safe from burglars, specifically during the holidays.

  • As tempting as it might be to put presents under the tree, keep gifts worth stealing out of sight until Christmas Day.
  • Even if you're stepping out for a few minutes to look at holiday lights, keep your porch light and TV on.
  • Anytime you leave your home, lock your doors and windows.
  • Don't run lights or cords through open windowsor doors since leaving these open, even a crack, can give burglars an entrance.
  • Break down boxes for recyclingrather than putting the boxes for your new devices on the street. (These tell potential burglars what you got for Christmas.)
  • Don't answer the door for someone you don't know. Opening your door allows people to look inside your home and see the lay of the land. Instead, rely upon contactless delivery and only open your door for people you know.
  • Skip the "obligatory" holiday social media post. Posting while at a friend’s house can show you're not home, and posting presents can show potential thieves what they can steal. 

Upload and update your home inventory 


Unfortunately, things happen, and burglaries occur over the holiday season. Make sure you have your home inventory already – with a digital copy uploaded to your cloud or an app – so in the event of a break-in, you have the stolen items’ details. 

You should also update your home inventory with the presents you receive. Any big items, like TVs or computers, should have a picture and receipt in the inventory.

Wish your insurance agent a happy new year? 

While theft is covered in homeowners insurance policies, some items, such as jewelry, may have limits. You'll definitely want to ask your agent if you need additional coverage for the presents Santa brought this year, just in case you need to file a claim later.

Learn more about holiday insurance claims in Top Five Holiday Home Insurance Claims and How To Prevent Them.


Homeowner Insurance for The Way You Live

At Franklin Mutual Insurance, we recognize your home is more than an investment and place to live. It’s a safe haven where friends and family gather, memories are made, and your most valued possessions reside. Give your home and loved ones the protection they deserve with extensive property and liability coverage that can be customized to meet your needs and budget.

Learn more about our homeowners insurance policies now. 

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