As you share in the magic of the season, your friends at VoiceNation are wishing you a very happy holiday! And with that, we want everyone to stay safe while enjoying all the joy this season brings – family traditions, good food, and gifts for loved ones to name a few. And while this time of the year may be a celebration for you and your family, many criminals view it as a prime opportunity to cash in on the gifts you’ve received.
Robberies increase during the holidays. In fact, 1.6 million burglaries were reported during the holiday season last year alone [http://www.mrbeams.com/]. And around 40 percent of annual household burglaries in the United States are not forced entries, meaning someone was able to walk, climb or crawl inside of houses almost as easily as if the owners left a key in the door [Bureau of Justice].
So, we’ve put together a few safety tips to keep in mind during the holidays.
Don’t leave boxes sitting on the curb in front of your home. If you put that expensive, flat screen plasma TV box next to your recycling bin for everyone to see, you’re asking for trouble. Don’t forget about the smaller tablet or computer boxes either. Destroy the boxes if at all possible. Or, take them to a nearby recycling drop off.
Use your garbage and recycling service pick up to your advantage. If you are a home owner, you most likely know the exact time of day your garbage and recycling will be picked up. If you can, wait to take your trash and recyclables outside until just before the service comes to pick up the items. This will minimize the chances of everyone seeing your items and purchases. In the meantime, you can turn boxes inside out or tear them into small pieces. Also, bag up your gift wrap and tissue to prevent the wind from blowing loose pieces away. Nobody likes litter.
Don’t discard receipts, owner’s manuals and warranties. These are key items that give burglars a good idea of what you have in your home. The best approach to getting rid of these is to shred them and recycle the shreds.
Leaving a light on when you leave your house is a safe measure, but isn’t exactly “green”. As a solution to temporarily leaving your lights on, make sure all bulbs are eco-friendly. This will reduce cost, as well as the damage to the environment.
Keep all windows and doors locked at all times. Not only will this cut down on your energy bill, but it will help keep intruders out!
Be smart about where you park. Holiday shoppers should always park in a well-lit and frequented area. It doesn’t cost you extra to take advantage of parking area lighting. Car break-ins are very popular because most shoppers leave gifts in their car at the mall to avoid carrying the bulky items around. Even if you are making a quick stop by the grocery store, don’t leave valuables and gifts in your car, especially in plain sight. Take your gifts home immediately.
We hope you have a safe and happy holiday! And, don’t forget to recycle! Americans throw away 25% more trash during the holidays than any other time of the year [http://www.epa.ohio.gov/pic/facts/holiday.aspx].