Guest Blogger: How to Help Prevent Break-Ins This Holiday Season
When it comes to protecting your home, you might feel that a simple deadbolt is adequate to meet your needs. On the other hand, you may want your house locked down like Fort Knox, with everything from barbed wire fencing to a closed-circuit system of surveillance cameras. But most people go for something in between. However, when it comes to the holidays, a time when break-ins tend to increase due to homes filled with pricy gifts and family travel that makes for easy pickings, you might want to consider beefing up your system. And here are just a few options that are sure to make you feel a little safer during this already-stressful season.
Image via: Ralph Kylloe
Installing an alarm system
One thing you might want to do is install an alarm system if you don’t already have one. This security upgrade can protect your home and family in a number of ways. First and foremost, it can ensure that the authorities are notified in the event of a home invasion, whether you’re in the house or off visiting relatives over the holidays. But even better than that is the fact that alarm companies post a sign in your yard, in a window, or on the garage door to inform would-be robbers that your house is protected by one of their systems. This can effectively stave off home invasion attempts by making you a more difficult target than say, your neighbors. No criminal wants to alert the authorities that they’re engaging in illicit activities, so the knowledge that you have an alarm system could make you a far less attractive target right off the bat.
Of course, even those that have an alarm system in place could upgrade. In case you didn’t know, there are now companies like Vivint and ADT that offer smart-home systems (although Vivint’s system is easily the most comprehensive). Such an upgrade will allow you to control your alarm system remotely using your smartphone or tablet, so that you never again have to worry about whether or not you remembered to arm the alarm before you left the house. Beyond that, many of these systems can also be jacked into electrical systems in your home, allowing you to control the lighting, thermostat, and even electronic devices like the television or stereo remotely. So rather than setting your lights on a timer to try to convince robbers casing the house that you’re still there (even when you’re on vacation), you can do one better by randomly turning lights and electronics on and off during your trip. Plus, you can set the thermostat to warm up the house before you return home.
Image via: Forum Phi
Other security options for your home
However, if your sensibilities are as old-school as the tile roofing and arch design featured in your little bungalow, you might be looking for something a little more low-tech (and less expensive). In this case you may want to consider a solution that blends the best of both worlds. Solar-powered, motion sensor flood lights can effectively deter robbers by using the power of the sun rather than drawing on electricity. The only real downside is that they may run out of juice in the middle of the night, especially if sunlight is scare in your climate during this season and there is a lot of wildlife running around your yard and setting off the flood lights every five minutes. In truth, you might just want to consider the level of security you need for your area and your own peace of mind before you decide whether to drop a ton of dough on a major overhaul of your home security.
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