‘Tis the season to be jolly – but also vigilant. The holiday season is indeed a time for giving, but for criminals it’s a time for taking. The rates of robbery and theft tend to increase during the holidays as thieves seek out valuables, vacant homes and unguarded packages.

But that doesn’t mean you have to become a victim. There are several things you can do to bolster your home security during the holidays and prevent the Grinch from stealing your goodies.

Here are 11 holiday-season security tips recommended by our experts and the Toronto Police Service.

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1) Be careful when discarding boxes from valuables. Did you get a big-screen TV or other valuables for Christmas? Conceal the boxes when discarding them with other trash, so that they don’t attract burglars.

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2) Cancel/reschedule packages while you’re away. Don’t let deliveries pile up at your front door. This not only prevents “porch pirates” but also burglars who are looking for signs of a vacant home.

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3) Use light timers or smart lights when you’re not home. This keeps your home well-lit and gives the appearance that someone is inside, reducing the risk of burglary.

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4) Arrange to have snow cleared while you’re gone. An uncleared driveway or walkway is an obvious sign that nobody has been home for days.

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5) Ask neighbors to collect mail and newspapers. If you’re going away for a few days, then be sure to have your mail, newspapers or other deliveries collected (or paused).

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6) Close window curtains & blinds at night. Don’t let burglars see all the expensive gifts around your Christmas tree. Keep your curtains closed after the sun goes down every night.

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7) Use a home security system. This will trigger an alarm whenever unauthorized entry is attempted, such as when a door or window is opened. Additionally, if the system is equipped with alarm monitoring, police can be dispatched when the alarm is triggered.

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8) Install security cameras. Like a home security system, the mere presence of cameras can help to prevent theft. But if it does happen, you’ll catch the crime on camera, enabling you to provide the footage to police and your insurance company.

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9) Consider a video doorbell. Video doorbells are another type of security camera that also work like a doorbell. During the holidays, these are especially useful for monitoring packages and people at your doorstep. You can receive automatic alerts when activity is detected and you can communicate with visitors through your personal device without opening the door.

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10) Keep cash and valuables out of sight. Make sure that any valuables cannot be seen through your windows. This applies to valuable holiday decorations, too. If you choose to display them, keep them out of sight from passersby or use light-filtering curtains to make it more difficult to see inside during the day.

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11) Don’t share your holiday vacation on social media. You never know who’s paying attention. If you choose to share vacation photos, consider waiting until you return.

Is your home secure for the holidays? Let’s check together.

Contact us at PROTECTION PLUS to request a no-obligation home security audit to ensure you have the protection you need for this holiday season and beyond.

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