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Protect your home from burglars this holiday season

Locking your doors and checking your security devices are keys to protecting your home while you're out of town.
Posted at 1:02 PM, Dec 18, 2023

Leaving your home for a holiday trip can be stressful. Even the dumbest burglars, like the crooks from "Home Alone," know many people will be out of town from now through New Year's Day. But there are ways to scare off those crooks, even if you are hundreds of miles away.

Lock everything

Sergeant Tim Schmidt-Goessling of the Amberley Village Police Department in Ohio says people should do a check of all of their doors and windows to make sure they are locked.

During an inspection of a home in Ohio, Goessling said the back door was unlocked and the second-floor bathroom window was open.

While locked doors can deter thieves, they won't always keep them out.

Check your tech

Nick Wolny, senior editor at CNET, says this time of year it is essential to be on guard. Crooks know that homes are filled with new gifts — from laptops and gaming consoles to jewelry.

"Really dot your i's and cross your t's regarding home security, to make sure that you don't come home to a disaster," he said.

After you make sure your doors and windows are locked, check your tech. That means ensuring that your security camera or video doorbell is fully charged and sending footage to your phone.

Wolny also suggests asking your neighbors to keep an eye on your home. 

As most burglaries take place at night, Wolny says it’s not a bad idea to put in another line of defense.

"Motion-detecting lights, things like that can be a really great deterrent," he said.

Shop around and you can find fairly affordable motion lights and doorbell cams.

Never leave valuables out

Finally, just in case someone does break in, Wolny says to make sure it’s not worth their while.

"Before you head out," he said, "take some extra time to lock things up. If you have a safe, put those other valuables into that safe."

You can read more of CNET's safety tips by clicking here