With the holiday season approaching quickly, families all over the nation are finalizing their travel plans to visit loved ones. Last Thanksgiving, 43 million Americans drove 50 miles or more to carve the turkey with their friends and family. And last year, 30% of Americans traveled 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holiday season. If you’re planning on traveling this holiday season, there are a number of precautions you can take to lock down your home in order to keep it safe while you’re away. For example, did you know there are countless security benefits to knowing your neighbors?

Know Your Neighbor

Communities are made by people getting to know each other and looking out for one another. You don’t have to be best friends with your neighbors, but you should definitely get to know them. If you aren’t on a first-name basis with your neighbors, head on over with a plate of cookies and introduce yourself! You’ll be surprised by the community and safety benefits that will come your way. Having better relationships with your neighbors also means being able to share cell phone numbers so that you and your neighbors can exchange information at an instant if either one of you notices something unusual going on at the home of the other. The vast majority of the time, burglars will check to see if someone’s home before they break in, and sometimes the holidays make this task relatively easy. One of the best things you can do to help ensure your home is secure is to get to know your neighbors. Here are a few suggestions that your fellow neighbors can do for you in terms of safety.

Keep an Eye Out

If a neighbor hears a loud noise such as glass breaking or a door being kicked in, they’re more likely to check on you if they know you. It’s a good idea to have someone nearby who you can count on to help you out in the unfortunate event of an emergency. However, with a monitored home security system from Protect America, the authorities would immediately be alerted once any glass break sensors, motion detectors or alarms were tripped. In addition to contacting the authorities, they interact with the homeowner via text message for a shortened response time.

In a study done by The UNC Charlotte Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology, burglars are almost three times more likely to target homes without home alarm systems.

Regardless of it you have the added protection of a home security system, it is still a valuable tool to get to know your neighbor

Receive Packages

One important task you can ask your neighbor to do while you’re out of town is collect any newspapers or packages from your doorstep or mailbox. Mail and flyers piling up near your front door can be an obvious indication to burglars that you’ve been out of town for some time. If you trust your neighbors, then you can simply ask them to pick up your newspaper and make a pass-by every so often to check for problems.

Maintain the Illusion of Occupancy

Maintaining the illusion of someone being in residence is important in deterring criminals, something that can be hard to do if you are far away either occupied with business or simply on vacation. Perhaps you can ask your trusted neighbor to park their car in your driveway while you’re away on vacation if you do not have one to leave behind. In a survey of burglars, 51% checked for a car in the driveway before committing their crime. In the same survey, 60% of burglars would avoid a ‘target’ if there was any evidence of people being inside. 

Protect America is always concerned for the safety of your home and family. However, to help ensure your home is absolutely secure, we have created a holiday home security checklist for you to complete prior to traveling for the holidays. Find our free holiday home security checklist here.