Home Security Tips Before the Holidays

Thanksgiving is one of the most traveled Holidays, and with it being just around the corner, we felt it was important to go over some home security tips.  You not only want to make sure your home is secure from burglars, but you also want to make sure there is nothing left on in your home that could potentially cause a problem.

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Shut the main water valve. If you’ll be away for a prolonged period of time, it’s smart to shut down your home’s water supply. Locate and turn off the main water valve.

Drain toilets. As step two of the water shutdown plan, drain all toilets and tanks by holding down the flush lever until the water is gone.

Turn the water heater off. If your water heater is electric, turn off the large breaker assigned to it at the main electrical panel. For gas water heaters, turn the valve to the pilot position or turn it off completely, but only if you know how to relight it and will be away for an extended period of time.

Turn the breakers off. To minimize the risk of electrical fires, turn off all nonessential electrical circuit breakers in your home’s electrical box (such as anything other than your heating system, security system and outdoor lighting).

Disconnect appliances. Unplug all appliances, large and small.

Lights on timers. Improve home security by putting lights in main living areas on timers and setting them to simulate occupancy.

Don’t broadcast your absence. A burglar can easily be tipped off to your absence by an unanswered phone, so turn off the ringer and keep your everyday answering message in play. And never, ever leave a message or post on a Facebook or Twitter page saying, “I’m away on vacation.”

Adjust blinds. Leave blinds and curtains in normal positions wherever possible, taking care not to expose belongings attractive to prying eyes.

Secure valuables. Protect valuables from theft (important papers, jewelry, etc.) in a home safe or safe deposit box.

Disconnect the computer. Make sure your computer is turned off and disconnected from the Internet, particularly if it contains personal information. Also put away or shred telltale bills and receipts that add to the risk of identity theft.

Set the alarm. Activate your alarm system; be sure to notify the home security company of your days away and provide interim contact information.

Lock up. Ensure that all windows and doors are securely locked before you leave for vacation. This may sound elementary, but all it takes is one of them ajar to welcome an intruder and threaten home security.

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