Helpful Holiday Tips to Keep Your Home Safe

By Lynn Lewis - lynnl@landings.org
Communications Manager

   When you are out and about this holiday season, whether it is just for a few days or a few weeks, be sure to use the following helpful tips to keep your home safe and secure.

  • Ask a friend to watch out for your home or notify The Landings Association - Give a trusted friend a key so they can bring in the mail, feed your cat, or water your plants. If you are a Landings resident, don’t forget to fill out a Property Check Request so that a Landings Security Officer can check the outside of your home while you are away. Simply visit www.landings.org/forms > Miscellaneous Forms > Private Property Check Request. (You must be logged in to the website.) As part of the program, an officer will check doorknobs and locks and inspect windows to see that they are closed. Additionally, the officer will report any obvious sign of running water from the house or in the yard. Should anything out of the ordinary be found, Security will notify the emergency or local contact listed on the request form.
  • Don’t tip criminals off through social media - The anonymity of the Internet can encourage us to share personal information without fully realizing there may be hundreds of complete strangers receiving our daily postings. Think twice before posting where you are going, when you are leaving, and how long you expect to be gone.
  • Curtains closed or open? - Before you leave for vacation, you may decide to close your curtains to prevent people from peering inside your home. However, closed curtains also stop those who aim to help (e.g., the police, your neighbors, or friends) from seeing inside your house. So, what’s your best bet? Leave your curtains exactly as you usually keep them when you’re home, since noticeable changes could hint that you’re not around anymore, especially if your curtains are uncharacteristically left closed for two weeks. Move expensive items, such as jewelry or computers, out of plain sight.
  • Lights - Leaving your lights on throughout your entire vacation not only could result in an extremely expensive light bill, but also isn’t “green” behavior. Instead, purchase a light switch timer that can turn your lights on and off automatically according to a programmed schedule. People naturally will assume a person is doing the flipping rather than the timer.
  • Stop your mail - Contact the United States Postal Service (USPS) to stop your mail, and don’t forget to stop your newspaper if you get one. If you don’t have a friend picking these items up for you, a week or more worth of piled up papers and mail clearly signal you are not at home.
  • Pull the plug - Unplug your television, computer, toaster oven, and other appliances to protect them from power surges. Do this to save power as well, as many appliances still use power even when they are off.