6 Holiday Home Security Checklist Tips

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By Niki VanEch

PWLIVING December 2015 iStock_000011826964_MediumDuring a holiday vacation, no one ever wants to have that nagging feeling that something could be happening back at home. Unfortunately, holiday trips are the perfect time for criminals to steal property. There are, however, some steps you can take to reduce the chance of any crime taking place.

1. Alert your neighborhood watch group. It’s a good idea to inform the group of your vacation plans
so they can be extra alert to suspicious activity. If there is no formal watch group, then ask a
neighbor or friend to check up on your residence. You can ask them to remove any packages on your
doorstep or accumulated newspapers.

2. Secure all entryways. Make sure all the locks work. Repair any cracks in doors or windows.
Sliding doors should have bars that prevent giggling them open. Don’t forget second story windows.

3. Conceal valuables. Keep valuable items out of sight from peepers outside the house. Most
criminals “case” houses that will be worth their while. They will do this by looking through
windows or checking the property for items such as flat screen TVs and laptops, which can be easily

4. Stop mail and newspaper delivery while you are out of town.

5. Make your house look lived in. Use automatic light timers for holiday lights if your house is
decorated with these to fool burglars that you are home. Keep a car in the driveway. In a survey of
burglars, 51% said they checked for a car in the driveway before committing their crime.

6. Avoid social media updates. While everyone wants to update their family and friends about
exciting trips, those without the strongest privacy settings on their social media accounts could
be notifying more people than they expect. As the trip comes closer, refrain from posting exact
dates and times in which you will be out of town because social media accounts are a great place
for a third party to get information.

Niki VanEch is an interior designer who has been helping clients in the metropolitan D.C. area for
more than 20 years. Her home furnishings store, VanEch Studio, is located in
Occoquan, Va., and at VanEchStudio.com.


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