Christmas is fast approaching and many Filipinos are excited and set to go for their holiday vacations. But it’s not just you who is looking forward to this time of the year. House burglars (or Akyat Bahay gangs) are also on the lookout for potential houses where they can break in easily. Indeed, crime rate is high during this season because these crooks know that most people take this opportunity to visit their relatives in the province or to go out of town or the country and enjoy new scenery.
Take that extra time to secure your home and avoid being another case of a domestic robbery. Here are ways on how to protect your place from thieves while you are not at home.
1. Get heavy duty locks.
Secure main entry points including your door as they are your first wall of defense against break-ins. Ensure that all doors have locks that are in good, working condition. Install quality double locks and deadbolts so that thieves can’t immediately force your doors open.
2. Check your windows.
Aside from doors, windows are also another entry point. It’s not unheard of for home intruders to break the glass or pry windows open so they can enter the house. If you have sliding glass windows, place a rod in the track to prevent burglars from opening it. Or you may want to consider installing security grills or bars, window locks, or safety latches. Just make sure that it is designed for an easy exit in case of emergency.
3. Install a good home alarm system.
Although your neighborhood may have CCTV cameras or a security watch group, it’s best that you also have your own alarm system. Place it in a location that would be easily noticed by anyone so that intruders will be discouraged from breaking into your home. Ensure that it is activated before you leave the house.
Before you buy a security system, know which type is best suited for your home. Check out these different home security systems that you can invest in.
4. Lock away your valuables.
Find a secured place to keep your important things. If you find a safety deposit box too expensive, think of creative ways to stash your jewelries, money, and gadgets. Sometimes putting them in plain sight or an unexpected spot is better as it will not be the first place where burglars will start their search. You can use storage safes disguised as ordinary objects such as hollowed out books, false electrical panel, wall arts, and more.
5. Invest in a home automation system.
One of the best ways to make sure no burglar will enter your house is to make your house appears as if there is still someone home. If you have money to spare, invest in a home automating system where you can control light and appliance switches remotely using your mobile apps and devices. Here in the country, some condominiums like the upcoming Viridian and Twin Oaks Place are now offering units that are automated.
6. Have a trusted person check the house for you.
Ask a trusted relative, friend, or neighbor to check the house once in a while, especially if you will be away for more than four days. Ask them to contact authorities and you immediately if they see anyone suspicious lingering in the house.
7. Think before you post on social media.
For those who are fond of sharing real-time information about their lives or love to update their friends on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, think twice before posting anything that would inform people you are away from home. It’s like flashing criminals and informing them your house is ripe for the picking.
As much as possible, don’t advertise your vacation plans. But if you really want to let your friends know where you are or how you are enjoying your vacation, customize who can see your posts. Or you can upload your photos once you get back and just put a #latepost.
8. Avoid checking in at Foursquare and other social media.
The Philippine National Police cautioned Filipinos against checking in at a store (or even at your current vacation place). According to the 12 Safety Tips for Christmas they released recently, you might want to do away with checking in at place because it will let crooks know you are not at home and take advantage of that it.
How secure is your home for the holidays? Share with us your preparations and other tips by leaving a comment below.