With the holiday season coming, families are likely to be shopping for gifts large and small. When it comes to home security, however, what happens after unwrapping presents can play a key role in ensuring whether or not high-value devices like TVs and computers will remain in your possession by the time the clock ticks midnight and everyone celebrates the New Year.
The basic theory is similar to poker. When people have a strong hand during a game that they think will beat everyone else, they do not want others to know. Similarly, when families make big purchases for others as gifts or to replace old electronics, it is important that the rest of the world does not know that these easy-to-steal and easy-to-sell items are available for criminal elements in one’s home.
Hiding Electronics from Thieves, Not Just Recipients
When a burglar cases a house, he or she is looking to get the best return on a burglary. They are looking, then, for easy-to-access jewelry and electronics that can fit in a small duffelbag or backpack or even their pockets. While it may be difficult to hide a giant HDTV, many people casually toss boxes for electronics running from Blu-Ray players to video game systems to computer containers near their recycling bin until the next pick-up date.
When homeowners and renters do that, they are effectively advertising the equivalent of a Black Friday doorbuster sale at their home. Thieves can quickly calculate how much each of the gifts or products are worth as stolen goods and plan accordingly.To limit this, make sure that before you begin recycling any boxes that you have cut them down and either place them directly into the recycling or use a laundry room or garage until you are able to do so.
Many people may not realize that their use of social media can hamper these efforts as well as increasing the likelihood that they will face a burglary. Thieves who have already decided what house they will hit will often look for a homeowner’s social media accounts and scan for publicly released updates to find out whether or not a person will be at home when they plan on committing their crime. Either try to minimize the amount of information that you share, or check security settings so that only those people you know will see where you’re going during the holidays.
Security Systems and Homeowners’ Insurance
One easy way to ensure that electronics are protected is to install or upgrade a home security system. While door alarms are standard in most setups, if thieves see expensive items to pilfer, they may simply go through a window. Adding reed or vibration sensors that react to changes in the glass can deter many burglars who are looking for a quick and simple heist.
Even with the great response times of many police departments, there is still the possibility that a criminal will be able to make off with a high-priced, portable electronic product such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop. It is important to keep current on these items with one’s renters’ or homeowners’ insurance policies. It may be fun to open a present during the holiday season and play with these gifts, but within a few days, it should be added to the list of items protected by one of these policies.
Protecting Electronics Away from Home Over the Holidays
Many of the concepts used to prevent intruders from finding and stealing high-price TVs, laptops and video game systems also apply on the road. For many people traveling with a tablet or a laptop has become a necessity. Just as we recommend that people hide the fact that they made big-ticket purchases when they are at home, it can be a good idea to be careful with one’s luggage and on vacation.
Most bag manufacturers offer tablet and laptop cases but more importantly many of them now offer cases or notebook sleeves in luggage that looks nothing like a dedicated computer bag. Pick one of these for your next trip to reduce the time that you are advertising what is in your possession. In addition, once you are at a hotel, make sure that your electronics are in a location that would not catch a thief’s eye. A good example is to leave tablets in between shirts that will still protect the device from scratches.
For more information on residential security and alarm systems, contact Holicong Security or call 215.794.7542.