Brick house decorated for Christmas with wreath on door  in Kentucky

If you’re traveling over the holidays, you’ll want to take every possible precaution in order to protect your home and possessions from potential theft. Burglary is one of the most common crimes in America, especially over the holidays when many people are traveling. To keep your things safe, consider these four tips you can use to help secure your home and possessions.

1. Get to Know Your Neighbors

Not only should you get to know your neighbors because it’s the holidays and a great opportunity to spread good cheer, but also because neighbors are a great help in securing your home when you’re gone. You and those in your neighborhood might be interested in creating a neighborhood watch association to help keep families and homes safe. You could also ask a neighbor to check in on your home while you’re away. He or she could collect your newspapers and mail for you and shovel your sidewalks to make it look like someone is home. Any neighbor would be happy to offer this service if you promised to return the favor when they go out of town. So make some cookies and introduce yourself.

2. Keep Valuables Out of View

Whether you’re keeping your prized possessions in a car or in your home, make them invisible to any passersby. There is nothing more tempting for a burglar than electronics and other expensive items that can be viewed from the window. So, before you leave, make sure you close the shades in your computer room, and hide away jewelry. If you’re leaving a car behind, lock any valuables in the trunk or glove box where they are protected and out of sight.

3. Install a Security System

If you haven’t already, install a security system, since it’s the best protection you can have while you’re away. Once you’ve had it installed, make sure you put up security signs and stickers in your window that show passersby that your home is indeed protected. You could also put in home automation, which allows you access to climate control, your TV, your security system, and much more from any wireless connection. That way, you can continually check in on your home and know that your security system is keeping your things safe.

4. Clean Up After Yourself

Once you’ve finished putting up lights, decorating your home, or doing yardwork, make sure you put away all of your tools. Leaving a ladder out is the perfect way for a burglar to sneak into your windows. Burglars also love tools that are left out that they can steal or use to break into your home. Do yourself a favor and lock everything away in the garage or shed before you leave.