holiday_burlgars

There’s no better feeling than finally get your holiday gift buying done. It’s such a sense of accomplishment and you can’t wait to see the beaming faces of friends and loved ones opening their special presents. However, if you’re not careful you might also be is advertising that bounty to crooks and thieves who are looking to take it from you.

Nothing steals the joy of the season like a holiday home burglary. Unfortunately, the FBI warns that they increase during the holidays with nearly 400,000 break-ins occurring during November and December. Most of those are crimes of opportunity from criminals looking for an easy target.

Here are things you can do to reduce your risk of being a victim:

Make your home less vulnerable

  • Trim back bushes or hedges that block visibility and give thieves areas to hide
  • Install outdoor lighting (motion sensitive are best)
  • Put indoor lights on timers
  • Have a security system installed
  • Get a dog (crooks say a barking dog is a huge deterrent)
  • Keep garage doors closed
  • Always lock doors and windows
  • Keep watch of your neighbors’ homes and ask they do the same for you

Don’t advertise to criminals

  • Stop mail and newspaper deliveries if you are going away
  • Arrange for your neighbors to accept any home deliveries when you are not home
  • Don’t leave garbage cans out while you are away
  • Never leave notes on doors telling someone you are out and when you will return
  • Do leave a radio or TV on while you are away
  • Have a trusted friend, neighbor or relative make trips to your home or park a car in the driveway to make it look lived in while you are away
  • Conceal valuables and don’t leave Christmas trees and presents visible from the outside
  • Break down and conceal boxes for expensive items and electronics when putting out the trash (boxes for the new 60” HD TV or the latest computer are like shopping flyers for thieves)
  • Don’t advertise on social media that you are going away to grandma’s house or on a wonderful vacation (this also applies to your children)

Protect yourself

  • Make a complete home inventory of your possessions to assist if you need to file a police report, help speed up an insurance claim and help with a tax-loss write off
  • Be sure to have an identity theft protection and recovery service if burglars get access to your personal or banking information
  • Protect your possessions with homeowners or renters insurance

Not only do you feel violated after someone breaks into your home, but it can be expensive to fix the damage and replace items. That’s why you need homeowners and renters insurance. We can’t stop all criminals, but California Casualty is here to protect you with quality auto and home insurance with exclusive benefits not available to the general public. Every policy also comes with free ID theft protection. Call an advisor today for a policy comparison or review at 1.800.800.9410, or visit www.calcas.com.

Sources for this article:

http://www.crimepreventiontips.org/home-safety

http://www.mariettaga.gov/city/police/getinvolved/burglary-prevention

http://www.iii.org/press-release/vacation-bound-use-these-five-prevention-tips-to-protect-your-home-against-burglars-while-youre-away-070312

http://www.lapdonline.org/crime_prevention/content_basic_view/1376

http://www.supercircuits.com/resources/blog/burglary-prevention-tips-for-the-holidays

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