While you celebrate the holidays remember that home burglars are also planning how to celebrate theirs possibly with you as a potential sponsor. People tend to relax during the holidays and therefore home robbers view this time as an opportunity to gain entry into your home for cash and cash equivalents like credit cards, gifts or electronic gadgets, jewellery etc. Here are a few tips of what home robbers look for when shopping for a house to burglarize. These tips will help you enjoy the holidays without incident.
• Your home is a private place and should remain private, do not allow strangers inside your yard or home. Remember criminals also do intelligence gathering on how to gain entry into a home or valuables that can be obtained. Exercise common-sense precautions, including minimizing your profile, avoiding overt displays of wealth and maintaining good situational awareness. Criminals may sometimes be armed, if accosted, do nothing to resist or antagonize assailants.
• The common trend with people nowadays is to post on social media updating their travel plans or current location which is an easy indicator that the person is travelling. Other users of social media can use this information to know that you will be away from home and will take this opportunity to carry out a burglary.
• Burglars look for an easy entry with good escape routes. Don't openly display your gifts in the front window so it's easily visible from the street. It's too tempting for them to smash the window and grab the wrapped packages.
• Burglars look for occupancy cues like outdoor lights burning 24 hours a day, piled up newspapers, or advertising flyers piling up in the letterbox. If you are going to be away during the holiday, get someone trusted to house-sit so that occupancy is guaranteed always.
• Burglars know to look for the hidden door key near the front entrance. Don't hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to a trusted neighbour.
• Burglars prefer to enter through unlocked doors or windows. Sliding windows that are not secure can be seen from distance. One holiday problem can occur when exterior holiday light extension cords are run inside through a window and prevent it from being secured. Hire an electrician or handyman to install an inexpensive exterior outlet for your holiday lights.
• Avoid posting your family name on your mailbox or on your house. A burglar can call directory enquiries to get your telephone number and call your home while in front of your house to confirm that you are away.
• Don't leave descriptive voicemail answering machine messages like, "You've reached the Moyo’s...we're away in the rural areas for the holidays...please leave a message." Burglars love to hear that they have plenty of time to break in and completely ransack your home. Some will even have time to pour themselves a drink while they are at it.
• After the holiday, don't pile up empty gift boxes from your new computer, DVD player, or stereo receiver on the street for garbage collection. This will attract burglars who will know that you have expensive gifts inside for them to steal. Break them down or cut them up to conceal the items better. After a lucrative burglary, the chances of being burglarized again are increased to steal the new replacement products.
• Lastly, fortify your home by installing solid core external doors, heavy duty locks, longer screws in the lock strike plates and door hinges, and install secondary security devices on all accessible sliding windows. This may not out rightly prevent a robbery but will assist in delaying the robbers gaining access to your home and giving you ample time to call for help. It is very important to invest in a home alarm system.
• As you travel to various destinations for your holiday, plan your journeys well and travel on time during the day so that you take it easy on the accelerator pedal.