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Holiday Safety Tips Series: Protecting Your Home for the Holidays

by Sgt. Jennifer S. Ross

To burglars, the holiday season in particular, means that your home generally has more things to steal.  Not a very joyful thought, but an unfortunate reality.  You can choose to be paranoid and add to the stress of the holiday season or take the time to throw up a few more roadblocks to annoy or discourage potential burglars and then relax and enjoy yourself. 

I found my dad to be the hardest person to buy for when I reached the age to actually go pick out gifts myself.  I wish there had been home improvement store gift cards, light timers, motion sensor lights, higher end deadbolts, window pegs and recommendations to change out 6” screws for the standard 2” screws in lock strike plates and door hinges back in the day because it would have provided great gift options for my paranoid dad who also liked projects around the house.

So maybe you can give the gift of safety to someone in your home or just take care of a few things yourself and celebrate the holidays with a little more peace of mind.  Here are a few tips to think about concerning your home for the holidays. Remember to make safety a habit and not a headache:

  1. Burglars do not want to spend more than a few minutes breaking into your home so lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed.  Even if it is for a short period of time, secure your home. USE THE DEADBOLT LOCKS, NOT JUST THE DOORKNOB LOCKS. Doorknob locks are easy to bypass.
  2. Fortify your home by installing heavy duty locks, longer screws in the lock strike plates and door hinges, and install secondary security devices on all accessible sliding windows. This makes it harder to force in a door and requires a burglar spend more time making noise or looking for an alternate way in.
  3. Trim back bushes and trees that provide burglars with concealment and keep police and neighbors from seeing someone lurking on your property.
  4. If you have a burglar alarm, use it every time you leave your home, even if just for a few minutes.
  5. Make your home look occupied when you are not there. Burglars do not like light.  Use motion sensor lights on the exterior and light timers on the interior.
  6. If you are headed out of town, ask a neighbor to park one of their cars in your driveway.
  7. Submit an “Out of Town House Check” at http://com3.govtsystems.com/DecaturGA/Request/AnonRequests/RequestForm.aspx?FormId=394and officers will check on your home while you are away.

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