The holidays are a time of celebration, but they can also be a time of great anxiety. We want to ensure that we’re doing everything possible to keep our loved ones safe and healthy this holiday season. Emergencies are unpredictable, but there are some precautions you can take to minimize potential risks. Still, if there’s a non-life-threatening emergency, you don’t have to rush to the ER. Call a clinic that offers urgent care telehealth services, and they can tell you what to do over the phone or online.
To protect your family from the dangers that lurk during these joyous times, you must know what you’re up against. In this article, we’ll discuss six ways to help you safeguard your home and family from unwanted intruders or malicious people who might do them harm.
1. Keep Your Home Well-Lit
Criminals often choose their target by looking for homes with little exterior lighting in the evening hours when most families will be inside enjoying dinner together or playing games in front of a cozy fireplace. If you have a dark exterior or a dark courtyard, you’re opening yourself to potential problems. Criminals will look for homes that fail to offer good visibility for their residents and often seek out homes with poor outdoor lighting.
The solution is simple: install motion-activated lights around your yard and porch, ensuring that they work well enough to deter criminals from walking up to your home in the first place. If these lights don’t scare them away, the bright lighting will make it easier for you and any neighbors who might notice something amiss to get a good view of the perpetrator’s face. And if they decide to break in, better lighting creates a situation where it’s harder for them not to be seen while moving throughout your home or carport.
2. Lock Windows and Doors
Building on the physical security offered by lighting, you can also protect your home with simple door locks and window locks that give thieves less opportunity to break in. If they’re forced to break glass just to get into your home, it creates noise that will alert you or others nearby long before they’re able to sneak up on you unawares.
Never assume doors locked from the outside are properly locked, either. Check them yourself, even if guests lock it behind them when they arrive—more often than not, they’ll forget to do so. Also, check first-floor windows to ensure they don’t open more than a couple of inches for faster escapes in case of fire. See if there’s a way to block them from opening any further.
3. Make Your Home Hard to Enter
While there’s little you can do to stop a determined criminal, you can certainly make it harder for them to enter your home. If they find no easy access points and have to spend time forcing entry, it gives neighbors more time to notice something is wrong and call 911—or even better, step in themselves with a weapon.
First of all, learn how to spot a door that isn’t as secure as it should be. Loose hinges or windows that aren’t put in the right positions are doorknob-shaped invitations for thieves and burglars looking for an easy way inside. In addition, consider putting your most valuable possessions behind a lock and key and hiding them in a place where intruders won’t think to look.
4. Keep Valuables Out of Sight
Speaking of valuable possessions, the best defense against theft is simply not leaving anything out that might catch a thief’s eye: like jewelry on your counter, for instance. If you have an expensive necklace, consider storing it away when company comes over or locking it in a safe deposit box so that you don’t have to keep watching over your shoulder all night long, worrying about whether it’s still there or not.
Practically speaking, this means storing items out of sight—locked away inside cabinets if possible, especially those containing guns underneath the sink or above the headboard that houseguests or children can easily access. That includes firearms—always lock them away in a safe or gun vault when it’s not in use, and never out on the countertop where they’re an easy target for theft.
5. Lock All Vehicles, Sheds, and Garages
In addition to protecting your home from intruders, you need to protect your family from potential harm while outside the house. A great way to do this is by getting a lockable storage shed for all of your outdoor tools, including firearms. This will keep everything secure while you aren’t around and make it less likely that anyone can get their hands on dangerous items behind your back.
You should also be sure to lock any cars parked outside overnight—even if it’s someone else’s you’ll be borrowing for the day, they may not have locked it properly and left the keys in a dangerous spot. It’s a simple precaution to ensure your family is safe while you sleep. And an easy way to avoid a car theft headache in the morning.
6. Ask Your Guests to Help Keep You Safe
It’s always better to ask for help when keeping yourself and your family safe. That means ensuring everyone knows what security measures are most important to take, such as locking up everything before bedtime after they leave.
In addition, they need to know anything that might cause a commotion or attract people’s attention: no playing loud music or hosting raucous parties late into the night. The more responsible your guests behave, the less likely it is that thieves and burglars will come around and cause problems—and everyone will feel safer as a result.
The best way to ensure your family is safe in the weeks ahead is by locking everything down, especially when you aren’t around. By taking the precautionary steps listed in this article, not only you feel safer but also everyone else who depends on you to keep them safe and secure throughout the holiday season.