December 17, 2015

Tips to Protect Your Home and Property During the Holidays

In the excitement and high activity of the holiday season, we sometimes overlook the need to be vigilant and take care of our personal items. 

Allstate Insurance indicates that burglaries increase by 11 percent during the holidays and items stolen from vehicles increase by 17 percent. When we are out buying presents and materials for our holiday parties we sometimes forget that these items are visible; this may attract more attention than we want and can result in a break-in or theft from our home or our vehicles.

Christmas trees that are near doors or windows present too much of a temptation for thieves when they can readily see presents or gifts under the tree. The same can be said of gifts or items left in plain sight in cars while in parking lots. Covering the gifts with a blanket or keeping them out of sight until they are just about to be opened can help to avoid a Christmas “surprise” when you return home or to your car.

In the past few years, online shopping has increased significantly with many shoppers doing a good portion of their shopping from their homes or offices. Having the packages delivered to your home saves a lot of time and effort, but also has increased the opportunities for thieves who steal the packages which are left on the buyer doorsteps. Shipping your purchases to your office or place of work can avoid these potential thefts. 

Burglars are also adept at social media and can identify potential targets by surfing social websites to discover when you are traveling during the holidays. Many of us often post our travel schedules and vacations on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, unaware that it tips off thieves about extended absences and can provide them with information about the ideal time to break into our homes. Limiting this information online can help prevent this from occurring.

Other actions to avoid losses during the holidays include the following:

  • Using only one credit card for online purchases.
  • Being alert when using your cellphone for talking or texting.
  • Shopping with another person to be more secure or to provide extra help in carrying packages.
  • Checking your surroundings around your car.
  • Being especially careful while driving in busy parking lots, especially when backing out of parking spots. 

The holidays can be thoroughly enjoyable and with a few simple steps you can avoid an experience that will put a “downer” on the holiday season. For assistance with other safety or security issues or help with the right kind of insurance to protect your assets, contact Greg Nelson, Vice President of Western Growers Insurance Services, at (949) 885-2287.