The holiday season should be a time to relax and enjoy time together with those you love. For some, though, the holiday season can come with heartbreak and hassle, because the number of home burglaries typically increases every year at this time. But, don’t let the fear of a break-in deter you from taking that long-awaited vacation with your family! Instead, try these tips to protect your home so you can worry less. Be sure to check back to the Top Notch Locksmith blog for part one, which includes even more holiday home security tips. In addition, take these steps to protect your home:

Don’t Change Your Home’s Schedule

Not all home burglaries are done on a whim; some thieves actually take the time to stake out a potential target and watch the home for a few days in order to get a sense of the family’s schedule. So, if you’re going out of town, one of the biggest indicators that you’re away can be a change in that schedule. If you have a lawn care company come by once a week, or a snow removal service who shovels your sidewalk, don’t pause that service while you’re away. Stick to that regular schedule so potential thieves won’t be tipped off that you’re gone. Of course, the caveat here is to avoid letting mail or newspapers pile up. Ask someone you trust to go by and collect those daily or put a hold on your mail/newspaper delivery for the duration of your trip.

Get Professional Lock Installation

What many homeowners don’t realize is that fancier locks don’t necessarily better—especially if they are not installed properly. A standard deadbolt, when installed correctly, can be just as effective as many of the high-security lock options, if not more, because it is one of the most difficult locks to force open. According to a study from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, many surveyed burglars said that if they could not easily pick a lock, they would force it. What this tells us is that no level of high-security lock will help if the lock wasn’t installed well. Of course, high-security locks and high-tech locks can provide another layer of security, as long as they’re installed by someone who knows what they’re doing. A keyless entry system, in particular, can give you greater control over who has access to your home, and can even notify you every time someone disengages the lock. When installed correctly, a keyless entry system offers the physical protection of a solid deadbolt combined with connectivity you can control away from home.

Secure Your Garage

If your doors are well secured, a burglar may give your garage a try before giving up. Before you leave, make sure the door from the garage into the home is locked (with a properly installed lock). While you’re at it, don’t forget to check the garage windows! Make sure the locks work and the windows can’t be easily forced open. And, when you head out on your trip, make sure all garage entrances are closed and secured.

Clean Out Your Car

The other big thing many people forget, especially when traveling, is how easy of a target a car can be. If you’ll be parking your car for a while, either at the airport or elsewhere, make it as minimal of a target as possible. Clean out the back seat, hide away any packages, and generally make it look as empty as possible in your car. This will make thieves think you don’t have anything worth taking, and they will be more likely to pass your car by for a better target.

If you’re looking for help preparing your Philadelphia home for your next vacation, trust your home’s security to the professionals. Contact Top Notch Locksmith today and learn more about how we can help secure your home this holiday season!