Column: 5 ways to prevent break-ins during the holidays

(NC) A season filled with travel both near and afar makes a prime time for home break-ins. To minimize your home’s risk, follow these security tips.

1. Out of sight, out of mind. Wherever you choose to gather your gifts this holiday season, make sure that they are out of any sightlines to the street. Showcasing the goodies stocked under your tree will easily pique the interest of a potential thief.

2. Time your lights. If you’re proudly displaying your outdoor lights all season, one sure-fire way to compromise your home security is to turn them off. Put your lights on a timer so they go on and off at the same time each day, giving the illusion you’re at home.

3. Stop the presses. Nothing screams you’re not home more than a bursting mailbox. Plan to suspend your mail service while away, or ask a trusted friend or neighbour to collect it while you’re gone.

4. Take to technology. Invest in home security accessories such as a video doorbell or an outdoor light with a built-in security camera. These stealthy gadgets allow you to keep an eye on your home and will even send alerts to your phone when sensing motion or a ringing alarm, providing comfort and peace of mind.

5. Lock it down. Verify that all your home’s doors and windows have functioning locks and latches and that they’re in place prior to leaving. Faulty closures make home burglaries a breeze.

One final tip — make sure your home insurance is up-to-date before your holidays begin. Esurance allows you to revise your policy online, making insurance easy so you can get back to what matters most, spending time with family and friends.

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