While the most wonderful time of the year, the holiday season is also when many families reevaluate the security of their home. Besides the obvious (and, unfortunately, expensive) choice of a variety of home security systems, there is also a wealth of easy ways to ensure your abode stays safe, private, and secure at little cost. Here are our big 4 tips for a trouble-free holiday:

1. Keep in Touch With Neighbors

Our neighbors are often one of the best resources for ensuring a trouble-free holiday. It’s rare for multiple households to lack at least one potential inhabitant at a particular time, and by checking in with one another it’s easy to guard against any suspicious visitors or activity. Remember, a thief won’t risk being seen, and a good neighborhood watch (whether official or informal) is a free and effective security system.

This is particularly important if you’re planning an extended absence– even with a housesitter on-site a majority of the time, letting your neighbors know you’ll be gone is a great way to ensure someone is keeping an eye out for potential wrongdoing. Consider leaving a key with a trusted friend in case of emergencies, and if you know a nearby animal lover, most people are happy to spend some time taking care of your pets (just be ready to return the favor!).

2. Keep Expensive Items Secure

“Out of sight, out of mind” is relevant here, particularly when your home is filled with all kinds of new presents. Safes, while difficult to crack, are expensive, unwieldy, and time-consuming to transport and install. Unless you’re anticipating extended periods away from home, often a good hiding place is just as effective for short stints out of the house (and doubles as a precaution against loved ones who can’t quite wait for opening night). It is also a good idea to place your tree or present stockpile out of sight from easily accessible area like windows or side doors.

Another easy way to avoid an inviting target for potential wrongdoers is installing privacy treatments or blinds on vulnerable windows. While a thief may risk a broken window for an attractive prize, it’s unlikely one would do so without knowing what’s on the other side.

3. Avoid Over-sharing Travel Plans

Obviously, tell friends and family if you’ll be gone! However, a common trick for thieves is browsing social media or similar websites for homes without inhabitants at some point in the future. Posting your travel dates publicly could put you on a wrongdoer’s radar, so it’s a good idea to avoid giving out too much information that’s easy to access. Even if the whole family will be gone for a spell, there’s no need for a potential wrongdoer to know about it if avoidable!

4. Keep Your Home Well-Lit

Similar to Tip #2 above, a dark or uninhabited-looking home is a priority target for a wrongdoer; besides avoiding being seen by passersby, accidentally entering an inhabited home is a thief’s biggest fear. Even if your home will be empty for a period, maintaining a well-lit exterior will lower the risk of a break-in. Some homeowners go the extra mile by, for example, leaving vehicles in the driveway, a few energy-efficient lights on in the house, or even a radio or sound system playing music. Even better, combine this strategy with Tip #2 by drawing the blinds or similar privacy treatments when you leave– a potential thief won’t know it’s just a radio or desk lamp behind the screens, and is unlikely to take the risk.

With these 4 simple tips, the likelihood of trouble for your family’s holiday is greatly reduced. While most of our strategies are cost-free, few additions to your home can promote security like quality lighting and blinds or privacy treatments. If you’d like to know more, contact us at Just Blinds for a free consultation, or ask our team of professionals how to ensure your home stays safe, private, and secure year round!