Many people travel to visit family over the holidays. Criminals target homes that appear to be empty, so your holiday plans may place your home at greater risk.

If your home is like most others, you likely have presents wrapped under a tree. Burglars are looking for many high-dollar items in one area that are easy to load up and haul away. If you are looking for a way to improve home security during the holidays, consider these tips.

Improving Home Security During the Holidays

Everyone wants to protect their home and family year-round, but extra caution should be taken over the holiday season. The reward to criminals who break in during this time of the year is often more significant. The key to improving home security during the holidays is to identify your home’s weaknesses and to target them head-on.

1. Create a Neighborhood Watch

Just as your home may be more vulnerable this time of year, other homes in your neighborhood may also be at greater risk. Some communities have formal neighborhood watch programs that you can participate in. You can initiate this program yourself, or you can create a smaller-scale program with your closest trusted neighbors.

Let your neighbors know when you will be gone and ask them to be alert towards any suspicious activity during these times. They can also pick up your mail, newspapers, and any flyers left near the front door. You can return the favor for your neighbors next time they’re on vacation.

2. Improve Exterior Lighting

Some criminals are bold enough to break into a home in broad daylight, but many use darkness at night for concealment. Homes that appear to be empty may have no interior or exterior lights on. Landscape lighting placed in strategic positions can reduce the shadows in your yard where criminals hide.

You can also install lights with motion sensors. Because these lights come on when motion is detected, they draw attention to the intruder and will usually scare a burglar away.

3. Take Advantage of Modern Technology

Locks continue to be a common way to protect homes, but there are now many additional high-tech features that are at your disposal. Consider, for example, that you can install a motion-activated doorbell with a video feed. This alerts you when motion is detected in the vicinity.

Similar cameras can be installed around your property. Smart home technology can also be used to remotely control the TV, interior and exterior lights, automated blinds, and other features. From the exterior, criminals may think you are home when you use these high-tech features.

4. Install a Home Alarm System

A monitored home alarm system takes your home security to the next level. Regardless of whether you want to improve home security during the holidays or throughout the year, you’ll appreciate that a monitored security system protects your home at all hours. When activated, the system can tell you when a door or window opens or when motion is detected, and most allow you to view footage remotely from your smartphone.

Each of these tips can improve home security during the holidays. Your home may be targeted at any time, but burglaries are more common during the holiday season.

H&I Home Inspections wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!