Nothing ruins the holiday season more than being the victim of a crime. Here are some things you can do to help thwart criminals:
Report suspicious activity: If you see someone who shouldn’t be on property or you see suspicious activity, notify your community manager.
Keep home locked: Many of us enjoy the cooler night air and we open windows to let the breeze in. These open windows can make it easy for criminals to get into your home. When you are planning to be away for longer periods of time, try to install a timer on a few lights in the house. And if you are going on vacation, remove your spare key from the door jam or other hidden spot.
Don’t leave gifts in car: Leaving your holiday purchases in the car can be temptation for a variety of burglars. Some apartment communities have installed security cameras, but this still may not prevent car thefts. If you have to keep gifts hidden in the car, place these in a locked truck, out of view. Don’t leave your iPod or phone where someone can see it in the car.
Keep gifts away from view: Loads of wrapped gifts under a tree in the window may be an advertisement to burglars. If possible, you can move wrapped gifts away from the window view.
Beware of fire hazards: Grocery stores and parking lot vendors have returned to sell fireworks during these few weeks. (Remember that they are only permitted to sell at the holidays and near July 4 holiday.) Be very careful lighting these fireworks. They are dangerous and a real fire hazard. Even little sparklers can be tempting but their sparks will burn your floors, table and countertops, leaving permanent damage.
If you have a live tree, take special care to keep the tree watered and healthy. The US Fire Administration recommends keeping candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn, or better yet, using battery operated flameless candles.