words Alexa Wang
Winter is almost here, along with snow days, holiday festivities and cooler temps. But along with the joys of the season, it also brings hazards like slick roads and a spike in crimes. Here are four ways to help keep your family and home safe this winter.
1. Avoid Advertising Your Travel Plans on Social Media
If you’re planning to travel to visit family and friends this holiday season, you may be tempted to post warm, fun pictures of your time spent together, opening gifts, visiting holiday light displays and enjoy one another’s company. But while you might simply be wanting to share your holiday with family and friends, criminals lurking on the web may take your photos as an invitation to visit your home while you’re away.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t share your holiday fun. Instead, just wait until after your trip is over. Some users think that if they have their privacy settings set to block anyone who isn’t already their friend on the web that their information will be safe. But when your friends are scrolling through their feed, you never know who else might catch a glimpse.
2. Don’t Warm Your Car in the Garage
Most people know that turning your car on while it’s in a closed garage is incredibly dangerous. In the winter months, it can be tempting to open your garage door and then start your car and leave it running before you hop in and go.
Whether you are leaving your door open and only plan to run your vehicle for a few minutes or not, this can be a deadly mistake. Warming up your car for even just two minutes with the garage door open can raise the carbon monoxide to a dangerous level. The CO will then linger for as long as 10 hours, posing a danger to anyone who might enter the garage even after the car is gone.
3. Utilize Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting serves two distinct purposes during the winter months. First, it can help you spot patches of ice on your walk to and from your car. Second, it can help deter criminals or help you catch a porch thief. Criminal activity, and especially thefts, spike during the holiday season.
Another way to protect your home from holiday theft, you might also consider adding a security camera system. If you plan to take a trip during the holidays or even just want to spend afternoons away shopping, a security camera can help keep your house safe all winter long as it is a great deterrent for thieves, and you can check in on your property whenever you want right from your smartphone.
4. Rethink How You Dispose of Empty Boxes
Even if you’re protecting the outside of your home with the use of outdoor lighting, there are other measures you can take to deter thieves. One important one after the holiday season is to not toss your empty boxes in the trash.
Boxes from the new TV, laptop or other expensive holiday gifts let thieves know what’s inside your home. Disguise your boxes by breaking them down and placing them fully in the receptacle.
Securing Your Home This Winter
From never heating your car in a garage to utilizing outdoor lighting and a security system, to avoiding advertising your holiday plans or purchases, these simple tips can help you stay safe and protect your home all winter long.