Avoid Burglaries During the Holidays

burglar with crowbar peering into home window

Although burglaries are statistically more common during the summer, they also increase during the winter holidays. Along with many of us spending time away from our homes, we also tend to leave our gifts and valuables on full display-sometimes even with the windows open. This can be very enticing for a potential thief. Keep your home safe and avoid burglaries during the holidays by following a few easy steps. 

Deter Burglars During the Holidays

Know the Statistics

Start by knowing the statistics of when and how burglaries occur. This can help you take specific steps to protect your home. 

When Do Burglaries Happen?

Most burglaries occur during daytime hours, usually between 10 am and 3pm. This is when many of us are at work and school, meaning the house is empty and there are fewer neighbors around. 

Who Burglarizes Homes?

Most burglars are young men (late teens) that live within two miles of the targeted home. Home invasions are rarely planned. Rather, they are based on opportunity, convenience, and perceived value of stolen items. 

What Do Burglars Take?

The most common items taken by burglars are those that are small but high value. This includes:

  • Cash
  • Jewelry
  • Guns
  • Prescription drugs
  • Small electronics (phones, computers, game consoles, etc.)

Install Security Cameras 

Security cameras are one of the most effective deterrents against burglaries. Even something as simple as a dummy camera can go a long way towards making your home look unappealing to potential burglars. 

If you’re looking for more comprehensive protection, consider investing in a real security camera system that not only records any suspicious activity but also sends you notifications when certain activities occur on your property. This way, you’ll always know what’s going on at home even when you’re away. 

Install Motion Sensor Lights 

Burglars are looking for unoccupied homes with easily accessible valuables. Having motion sensor lights makes it difficult for a would-be criminal to determine if the house is, in fact, empty. They also alert neighbors or other passersby to any suspicious activity. 

You may also consider having certain lights on a timer, although you will want to vary the times at which these come on. You can ask a neighbor to program the lights for you to keep potential thieves from discerning any pattern while you are away. 

Reinforce Your Windows

Ground floor windows are a primary access point for many burglars. Simply reinforcing your windows with a polycarbonate or other anti-theft film can significantly reduce your chances of being targeted.  

Also be sure to keep all windows and doors securely locked when you leave the house. If possible, invest in smart locks that allow you to control access remotely via an app on your phone or tablet. 

Keep Your Valuables Out of Sight 

It may sound obvious, but one of the best ways to prevent burglaries is simply to keep any valuable items out of sight when you’re not at home. Don’t display expensive jewelry or electronics in plain view; instead, put them away in drawers or closets where they won’t draw attention from potential thieves who might be scouting out your house while you’re away. 

During the holidays, empty boxes in our recycling and trash can also be a glaring advertisement for all the expensive gifts we have received. Experts advise throughout breaking down boxes from electronics and other valuables so they remain contained within the trash receptacles.   

Use Social Media Wisely

Everyone loves to share their holiday plans on social media, but be careful about how much information you choose to divulge. Criminals can find a wealth of useful details from your social media profile, including when you are leaving and how long you will be gone.  

What Happens if My Home is Burglarized?

Break-ins can and will happen, even with the proper precautions. If you are the victim of a home invasion, you will first need to contact the police, then your homeowners insurance. Your insurance should help cover the cost of lost items, although it sadly cannot replace more sentimental ones. 

Having your home invaded is an extremely traumatic event that can leave you feeling anxious and vulnerable. The last thing you should have to worry about is fighting with your insurance company for a fair settlement. If you are having difficulty settling your homeowners insurance claim for a break in, consider contacting an experienced insurance attorney. 

David Roth is a highly experienced Colorado insurance attorney who prides himself on leveling the playing field between insurance companies and their policyholders. If you have questions about your claim, call or go online today to schedule a free consultation.