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Everything You Need to Know to Burglar-Proof Your Home this Winter 

Jan 16, 2020|

Many of us look forward to the winter months. They mean snow to play in, holidays to celebrate, and extra time off work and school. Even if you're not thrilled about cold weather, winter provides a great excuse to escape to a warmer climate for vacation. 

Burglars look forward to winter too, but for different reasons—homes can be more vulnerable during the winter, making them a perfect target for break-ins. 

Luckily, you can protect your home from burglars with a little information, planning, and help from smart home technology.

protect home from burglars in winter
Keep reading to learn how to keep your home safe from burglars this winter.

Why do winter burglaries occur?

Crime tends to be seasonal, with studies showing slightly more household burglaries occur in the summer than winter.

But that doesn’t mean winter burglaries don’t occur. There are still 1.4 million homes broken into each year in the United States, so it pays to take precautions year-round.

In some ways, winter may be a more attractive time for burglars for a number of reasons, including:

  • Holiday travel means empty homes. Remember the movie Home Alone? While some (ok, most) parts of the movie were far-fetched, the block of empty homes during the holidays was pretty spot-on. Many people travel during the winter months, leaving their homes empty and vulnerable.
  • Fewer daylight hours. Burglars don’t like to be seen. One common theory suggests that fewer daylight hours in the winter means more time after sundown to commit crimes.
  • More unattended cars. If you’ve ever let your car warm up in cold weather, you’re not alone. But unattended, running cars are an open invitation for theft.
  • More deliveries to homes. More than 800 million packages are delivered to homes in the winter months between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. This influx in packages can lead to an increase in porch piracy, or package theft from your front porch,

At the end of the day, most burglaries—regardless of season—are crimes of opportunity. So how can you keep your home safe?

Let’s be neighbors.

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Protecting your home from burglars

These tips will help you keep your home safe in the winter months, whether you’re at home or away.

Home security tips

  • Don’t make it look like you’re not home. The number one goal for a burglar? Don't get caught. Homes that look empty are easy targets, so make sure you take steps to look like you're home even if you're traveling. If you live in an area that snows, for example, undisturbed snow in the driveway and up to the door is a good indication no one’s home. If you’re going to be away, consider hiring someone to clear your driveway and front walkway of snow or ask a neighbor to collect any mail and packages you might be expecting.
  • Use automated or smart lighting. Nothing says “No one’s home!” like a dark house. At the same time, unnatural lighting patterns (such as the same lights left on day and night for several days) can also indicate to a burglar that no one’s home. With smart lighting, you can control your lights from your smartphone or automate your lighting to give the appearance of being home.
  • Ditch your spare keys. Spare keys or hide-a-keys are a common way to keep from getting locked out of your home. Unfortunately, a savvy burglar can easily figure out where most spare keys are hidden. Smart locks are a better, more secure alternative and work via a code rather than a key. They also allow you to lock or unlock your doors via your smartphone, so you don't have to wonder if you forgot to lock up or not.
vivint smart lock
Say goodbye to hidden keys and hello to a smart lock.
  • Keep your home's exterior well-lit. Keeping your home's exterior well-lit will also help deter potential burglars who don't want to be seen. This is especially important in the winter, when it gets darker sooner. Automated porch lights and motion lights placed around your property or on your garage are an excellent way to keep would-be burglars away.
  • Keep windows and doors locked. Believe it or not, 34% of burglars don't technically "break in" at all; they simply walk in through an unlocked front door. Another 22% get in through an unlocked window. With that in mind, making sure your doors and windows stay locked is a very simple way to help protect your home from burglars. You can also consider installing door sensors and window sensors, which sound burglar alarms if a window or door is opened.
  • Install indoor and outdoor cameras. Not only do security cameras act as a powerful visual deterrent, but they can also help you provide valuable evidence to law enforcement if you ever are burglarized. Consider installing both indoor and outdoor cameras for an extra set of eyes both inside and outside your home.
  • See who’s coming and going with a doorbell camera. When it comes to protecting your home from burglars, doorbell cameras are one of the most popular smart home devices, and for good reason. They let you see who’s coming to your door whether you’re home or not, and many also allow you to answer your door via a smartphone app. Even if no one rings the bell, doorbell cameras are often equipped with motion detection and will begin recording or send a notification to your phone if motion is detected. The presence of a doorbell camera can even cut down on porch piracy, which tends to spike in winter months.
vivint doorbell camera
Protect your home from porch piracy with a doorbell camera.
  • Don't give burglars a reason to break-in. You probably already have blinds and curtains to keep people from peeking into your home, but there's another way you could be letting potential burglars see what's inside—your garbage. This is particularly true during the winter holiday months, when people get new toys and gifts. Don't leave boxes for big-ticket items like new television sets or computers on the curb for the trash, where potential burglars could see.
  • Get a home security system. If you want true peace of mind, consider investing in a home security system. A complete home security system from Vivint includes all the smart technology your home needs to protect it. This includes indoor and outdoor cameras, smart lighting, smart door locks, and motion detectors to catch activity in your home, including both door sensors and window sensors that sound an alarm if breached. And our monitored security systems go a step further. If burglar alarms are tripped inside the home, your system will alert our 24/7 monitoring center, which then contacts local authorities.
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Stay safe with a Vivint system

Keeping your home protected during the winter months requires a little diligence on your part. Whether you prefer to spend the winter months bundled up inside, playing in the snow, or escaping to a warmer climate, these tips will give you the peace of mind that your home is secure wherever you are.

To find out how a Vivint can keep your home safe and sound all year, contact our Smart Home Pros at 800.646.1469 for a free consultation today.

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