By Oanhie “Shinsen” Pham, Editor-in-chief

Ah, it’s the holiday season. Some folks might take short vacations, college students might be going home, or friends and families might be visiting one another, leaving their house vacant. It’s a time to take it easy and enjoy time with loved ones. But for burglars, it could just mean a good time to take their chances. The possibility of finding hot holiday presents in an empty house might be enough to entice them. Don’t give them any open chances.

Some people may take extra precautions to keep their homes safe with kick-proof doors and technology such as surveillance cameras that can be monitored online, but here are some basic tips to keep your place safe:

  • Here’s one for users of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook: be careful posting when and where you go on vacation. This is especially true for those who post personal contact information in their profile.
  • Make sure all your doors and windows are locked (and that they lock well). It’s an easy invitation for burglars if they see a window or door unlocked.
  • Have any “hidden” keys around the outside of your home? Make sure you collect them. They’re not so hidden to burglars, especially if they’re underneath mats or potted plants.
  • If you’re good friends with your neighbor, see if he/she can help you watch your house while you’re away. If you have regular deliveries (such as newspaper) sent regularly to your home, ask your neighbor to collect them for you or ask the company to temporarily halt deliveries. It gives less room for a burglar to think no one’s home.
  • A dark house that appears to be empty could be what burglars are looking for. If possible, set timers on interior lights. Motion-sensor exterior lights are good to utilize while you’re away and even while you’re at home. Make sure the lights are working and aren’t dim. They may help deter any possible burglaries.
  • If you have an alarm system, use it! If you don’t have one, consider having one installed. It might take only one incident for you to realize that, yes, it could — and did — happen to you.

Stay safe and happy holidays!


 Photo credit: Oanhie Pham