For better or for worse, the holidays are upon us! While this time of year may bring many positive experiences and happy occasions, it can also put our homes and possessions at greater risk. While identity theft and shoplifting may be on your radar, home break-ins may not be. Many forms of theft do indeed increase during the holiday shopping season, though. Thieves take advantage of newly purchased gifts that have not yet been opened as well as the increased potential for travel, leaving those items unattended.
By following a few simple steps, you can keep your risk of a break-in down, causing a thief to look elsewhere for their next victim.
Stop and Double-Check that Lock
Hopefully, you already make a habit of locking your vehicle as well as your home. But with the extra festivities this time of year, coupled with carrying extra packages and bags around, you may easily miss a beat. A single forgetful moment could allow you to lose all that time and effort and money spent. So make it your habit to always double-check every single house door — not just the front one — before leaving home, as well as before you turn in for the night. Once a week, check your window hardware to make sure each potential entry is secure.
And it’s not just your home that’s at increased risk; your vehicle can also be the site for a potential break-in. Always lock your car, even if you’re just making a 5-minute stop; experienced thieves can easily open your vehicle’s door and snag a package in less time than it will take you to run into the convenience store or gas station.
And that brings us to our next point.
Keep Valuable Items Hidden from View
Again, this concept applies to both your home and your car. When you’re out shopping, make sure to keep shopping bags out of sight. If you don’t have enough room to store them in your trunk, at least make sure to cover them with a blanket or something. In addition, always park in a well-lit space when you’re out after dark.
For those who shop online, packages shipped to your home and left outside can easily be stolen. You can request delivery locations that aren’t as visible to passers-by, such as your side or back door. You could also request that any packages be retained at a carrier’s office for you to retrieve when it’s convenient. Alternatively, you could have packages shipped to the home of a friend or neighbor who is home during the day.
Even once you think you have your new purchases safely inside your home, you want to keep them away from view and make sure that any tell-tale packaging, such as boxes with pictures, are buried in the trash. You can help police track any particularly expensive items, such as electronics, by recording their serial numbers in a safe place.
The Nicholas Insurance Agency, led by Greg Nicholas, is a family owned business serving the York county, Pennsylvania region. In the insurance business since 1981, Greg Nicholas helps families, businesses and individuals understand the value of different insurance products and make wise decisions when selecting the best insurance products for their specific situations.
Offering exclusively Allstate insurance products, the Nicholas Agency provides auto, homeowners, rental and landlord insurance as well as life & disability, recreational vehicle, motorcycle and personal liability insurance.
For more information, visit our two York, PA locations at Westgate Plaza or York Marketplace or call us at (717) 764-2024.