Picture yourself on a beach vacation surrounded by hot weather, relaxed and calm, while your kids are near the water building a sandcastle. At that moment of ease and peace, you realized that you’ve forgotten to do something, but can’t quite put your finger in it. Suddenly in a panic, your beach vacation has been filled with angst and is now ruined all because you’ve forgotten to lock your house door. Fast forward later, you’re on your way home and hoping for the best, but the moment you step inside that door, it was already too late. Your house has been broken-in to while you were gone and all your most prized possessions have been taken away all because you forgot to lock the door.

Save yourself from this heartbreaking situation and avoid filing an insurance claim with these simple tips on how to avoid break-ins during the holiday season.

  1. Make Your Home Look Occupied

    The easiest targeted homes are ones that look empty, especially during the holiday season, as most families are away on vacation due to the school break.  Make your home look like someone has been living there by keeping at least one car in the driveway and forward all mail to a temporary address. Ask a trusted family member, friend or neighbour to drop by your home while you’re away. In fact, some insurance companies will require the homeowner(s) to have someone check their home while away, as per their home insurance policy. Or, an even better solution is to have someone you trust live in your home temporarily.

  2. Schedule a Timer

    If you’ve opted out of having someone live in your home, then it is best to schedule a time for your lights inside and outside of your home to turn on and off. This can also be done on your television. To throw off any burglars, you can even schedule different times for different days with the help of your smartphone.

  3. Install Alarm and Monitored Security Systems

    Installing a company or self-monitored home security and alarm system will help prevent break-ins. This is because 90 percent of burglars skip houses with these systems to avoid getting caught and having photo and video proof that they had broken into the home. With today’s technology, you may even check-in to your alarm and security systems virtually and livestream through your phone while on your vacation. In addition, installing an alarm and monitored security system means you’re qualified to get a discount on your home insurance.

  4. Delay Social Media Posting

    Although it is exciting to share vacation photos on Facebook and Instagram, it’s definitely best to not post details about your vacation. By sharing those details and photos while on your holiday or simply “checking-in” on Facebook, your home is at risk of being broken into. If your social media pages are “open” to the public, remember that not all your friends or followers are your friends. Social media has been the best free tool for burglars to target empty homes due to what is being shared online. Think twice before you post.

  5. Store Your Valuables

    For expensive, sentimental jewelry or small valuable items, they should be locked away in a safe kept at home. However, it would be a better option to have those items stored and secured away inside a safety deposit box at your bank.

Going away for the holidays should be about sharing happy times and creating new memories with family and friends, so don’t let any burglars breaking into your home spoil your fun. Instead, protect your home with these tips. Make sure to contact an Oracle RMS licensed broker to help you prepare for your holiday by purchasing travel insurance and to learn about what home insurance discounts you qualify for!