10 Winter Tips For Home & Auto
1. Use Extra Lights
As the days get shorter, there are more dark hours perfect for concealing those looking to break into a home. Extra lights are always an effective deterrent. Motion detector or motion sensor lights activated outside your home can serve as a warning to you if an unexpected visitor approaches. These lights can also help you and your loved ones get into your home safely at night.
2. Check Door and Window Locks
This tip can be done anytime but make it a priority now to ensure all your locks are in good working order. Schedule time to repair, replace, or strengthen locks regularly. Don’t ignore the locks on your windows, especially those located on the first floor. According to the FBI’s crime statistics, there is a burglary here in the United States every 22.6 seconds. Be sure you have quality locks installed to deter theft.
3. Clear Snow and Ice
By keeping your walks and driveway clear, you’ll have a better view of outdoor activities. It will also keep you safe as you travel in and out of your home during the winter months.
4. Screen Visitors
Be especially careful about opening your doors to unknown visitors or strangers. It’s less likely people will be out and about to hear distress calls, and it’s more likely it’ll be dark in the early evening. Consider installing technology to screen visitors without unlocking your door.
5. Take Precautions If You’re Traveling
Be sure you do the simple things like stop your mail and arrange for packages to be picked up by a neighbor or friend. Today’s technology allows you to monitor home activity from a mobile device or install lighting devices to mimic an active home.
6. Don’t Broadcast Travel Plans
Certainly, let loved ones know if you’ll be out of town for an extended period of time, but keep it off social media. Bragging about a special trip may seem like a great way to share news, but it’s also an open invitation to just about anyone to rob your home. Wait until after you get home to share your trip on social media.
7. Cope with a Cold Car
Although it can seem like a smart idea, starting your car before you leave on a cold winter morning is an invitation to a car thief. Instead, try to park your car in your garage or simply cope with the cold until your car warms up. If you must run your car before you depart, be sure it is in a well-lit area and easy to see. Consider having a second set of keys so you can keep it locked while it’s warming up.
8. Invest in Backup Power
It’s easier than ever to purchase a backup generator these days. You can buy one that is portable, runs on gasoline, and sits outside your home. However, there are whole-house generators that run on propane and natural gas and will automatically kick in when the power goes out during a winter storm. There are also small, solar-powered units that fit conveniently in a closet. Not only will you keep your appliances running during an outage, but you can ensure your alarm system stays engaged as well.
9. Don’t Tempt Burglars
The fourth quarter of the year represents a great deal of consumer spending, and that means it’s likely you’ll have presents coming in and out of your home. Be sure yo
u keep big ticket items hidden from view. Do not let packages stack up outside your door or sit in an opened garage. Be sure you draw your curtains in the evening, hiding the gifts under the Christmas tree from view.
10. Use Your Garage
If your garage is full of items, this may be a good time to do a little purging. Keeping your car inside your garage as well as freeing up that storage space can go a long way in protecting your home and vehicle in the winter. Your car will not be as cold or require scraping each morning, and additionally it’ll be safely locked up at night. Store high-value items such as grills and bicycles indoors instead of out. An attached garage can also give you an additional secure, well-lit area when coming home at night.