Holiday Security Tips: Keep Home & Workplace Safe
The holidays are a time of festivities and cheer, but they also present a serious security challenge. Leaving your home and office to visit family or friends creates the perfect opportunity for trespassers, home invaders, and vandals to take advantage. Safety during the holidays is crucial and doesn’t have to be complicated. Let’s explore some holiday security tips from security experts to keep yourself, your family, and your property safe.
Safety Tips for the Holidays
Community Action Security is dedicated to safeguarding the wellbeing and livelihoods of local communities throughout the holiday season. Paying attention to the various aspects of holiday security can provide peace of mind and help you stay safe as you enjoy the season of goodwill.
Holiday Home Safety Tips
Protecting your home is essential to defending it. Home invaders are searching for easy targets, and there’s no easier target than an unoccupied dwelling. The holiday season sees a significant spike in crime, so here’s what you can do to protect your home.
Keep Your Travel Plans Offline
Criminals scour social media to discover when people are likely to be out of town. By all means, brag about your holiday when you get back, but one of the top Christmas holiday safety tips is to keep your plans to yourself. The sole exception is telling your neighbors. Inform your neighbors that you’re going to be out of town and ask if they can keep an eye on your property while you’re away.
Install a Home Security Alarm
Make sure your home security alarm is up to scratch. Test out your alarm systems before departing and give yourself enough time for maintenance if you encounter a problem. The best alarms are fully monitored, so if someone triggers them, law enforcement will be notified immediately.
Keep Gifts Hidden
Hide wrapped gifts away from windows. Criminals often sweep neighborhoods, searching for a window they can break. Avoid keeping valuables in clear view. It is also wise to recycle the paper after the gifts have been opened. Dispose of it carefully as it’s not uncommon for criminals to sift through the trash of homes to find viable targets.
Leave the Lights On
After conducting a complete fire safety check of your Christmas lights and decorations, make sure you leave the lights on while you’re away. Alternatively, keep lights on a timer, so everything switches itself on in the evening and off in the morning. Keep lights on in common areas like the living room and kitchen to create the illusion that someone is home.
Double-Lock Your Doors
Installing a double lock on an external door adds an extra layer of security. Heavy-duty doors will deter most home invaders. Remember, they’re looking for easy targets.
Workplace Holiday Security Tips
When it comes to holiday safety topics, the workplace tends to go forgotten. Preparing your office for the holidays is as important as preparing your home. Here are some essential Christmas safety tips for securing your office space.
Maintain a Physical Presence
Opt for 24-hour security at the office. Whether this comes in the form of a monitored security system or an armed officer patrolling the premises, a physical presence acts as a deterrent. Locking the office and hoping for the best is not a viable security strategy.
Install a Safe
Sensitive information, confidential documents, and other valuables should be kept secure over the holiday break. One of the most highly recommended Christmas safety strategies is to invest in a fire-proof safe. They’re not as expensive as you think and simple to install so that you can rest easy on your Christmas vacation.
Back-Up Digital Documents
In the event something does happen, you need to keep the office operating. Back up all essential digital documents on external hard drives. They should be kept in the care of an authority figure until everyone returns to work.
It may seem obvious, but leaving the office for an extended period means a greater risk of experiencing a break-in. Before leaving for the holidays, perform a thorough inspection of the premises. Try all windows and doors to confirm that everything is locked. Leave on lights in rooms with windows throughout the building to deter criminals.
Create a Remote Working Policy
Digital security is as important as physical security in the workplace. Create a remote working policy in writing and make sure all employees are informed. This could include not using public Wi-Fi, logging out of all company devices, and conducting regular security audits.
General Holiday Season Safety Tips
In addition to protecting your home and office, there are other general holiday security tips to consider before packing your bags and jetting off. Here is a selection of general Christmas safety tips to follow.
Christmas shoppers tend to have high-value items on their person and in their vehicles. When shopping, make sure you park in a well-lit area and keep everything locked up and out of sight. Always be aware of your surroundings.
Draw Blinds Out of Hours
After sunset, make sure you draw the blinds in your home. The night hours sweep in earlier during the holiday season, and darkness makes it simple for criminals to scout out potential locations.
Don’t Answer the Door
A common trick holiday criminals use is to pretend to be soliciting for charity. Question unknown visitors, and don’t be afraid to leave the door locked. You should never feel pressured to open the door to anyone if you don’t feel safe. Make this clear to all family members to ensure they do not get duped, especially children who may be home alone.
Ask a Neighbor to Collect the Mail
Uncollected mail is a tell-tale sign that someone is away from home. One of the simplest holiday security tips you can follow is to have someone collect your mail. Enlisting a friend or family member to clear out your mailbox and collect any packages can avoid revealing that you are out of town.
Beware of Fire
The holiday season is ripe for house fires. Make sure you conduct a full inspection of your Christmas lights and decorations before installing them. Even a simple frayed wire could lead to a catastrophic house fire. Here are a few crucial fire safety tips for the holiday season:
- Remain alert when preparing meals.
- Keep paper and other flammable material away from heat sources.
- Inspect the wires and bulbs of Christmas decorations before plugging them in.
- Turn off all decorations before going to bed.
- Avoid storing items in hallways and landings.
These tips should help you to mitigate the potential for a fire to break out. Of course, any sensible homeowner must also have some form of fire alarm in place.
Report Suspicious Activity
Preemptive security is the best form of security. If you notice anything suspicious, such as unattended bags or an unknown person lingering, report it to a member of security or law enforcement. Crime consistently spikes at this time of year, and everyone should be on high alert. Be a good citizen and sound the alarm if something does not look or feel right; it could save lives.
Unfortunately, the holiday season is not just the season of goodwill but the season of crime. Homes and businesses are never more vulnerable than around Christmas. Make sure you have a comprehensive insurance policy in place in case the worst does happen. Act now to ensure that your home and business are safe from trespassers and vandals this holiday season. To learn more about holiday security, contact the experts. At Community Action Security, we specialize in protecting homeowners and communities from harm.