Tips to keep your home safe, secure this holiday season

(November 19, 2012) The holiday season is peak time for home burglaries and thefts. These valuable tips can help prevent you from being the victim of a crime:

  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows.
  • Don’t display gifts and other valuables where they can be seen from a window or doorway.
  • If you go out in the evening, turn on lights and a radio or television so the house looks occupied.
  • If you go on vacation, get an automatic timer for your lights. Ask a neighbor or trusted friend to watch your house, pick up the mail and newspapers and park their car in your driveway from time to time.
  • Beware of package deliveries where couriers have the “wrong” address. Write down tag numbers of suspicious delivery attempts.
  • After Christmas, don’t advertise new electronics and other valuables you just received by putting the boxes out on the curb for garbage collectors. Break boxes down and fold them so the words are on the inside. If possible, take them to a local dumpster.

If you really want to deter a burglar, make sure you have an updated security system with current signs and stickers. Burglars don’t want to get caught. When they are casing an area, they look for those who don’t have signs or outdated ones.

A wide variety of security options exist, but not all of them are good. Security systems are not all created equal.

Important features to look for include an cell unit. Landline systems are easily bypassed by cutting the phone line. Even other cellular units are subject to bypass because burglars can break in and destroy the cell unit within delay time. The cell unit is the only one that sends the signal first; there is no delay. That way, no matter what the burglar does, the signal is out.

Equally important is who is watching your home or business. Only use CSAA 5 diamond rated monitoring stations. They have the highest standards and offer the best protection.

Two-way voice is also very important, due to false alarms. A voice verified alarm will give you priority dispatch with the police.

You can have the best protection in the world but if you don’t arm it, it does you no good. Look for a company with geo services. Geo services put a perimeter around your cell phone so it recognizes when you leave the property. If you forgot to arm it, the system texts you a reminder, and you can arm right from your cell.There are also motion-activated cameras that will send a pic to your phone as soon as someone walks in front of it.

Be proactive and make this a safe holiday season.

By Rockwall resident Joe Thacker with Protectus Security, serving DFW with wireless home and business security systems, and home and business video surveillance. Learn more at