There is nothing worse than coming home from a wonderful Christmas holiday with your family, only to find that you home has been broken into. Although many people seem to think that it will never happen to them, it is an unfortunate fact that it happens all the time. Especially around the holiday season, thieves will actually stake out a house for a couple of days to make sure that no one is home, and then make themselves at home when they are sure it's safe.
Unfortunately, crime is on the rise. Especially in these hard economic times, people are losing jobs left right and centre, and quite often will turn to a life of crime as a way of surviving. There are many measures that you can take to make your home more secure and prevent people from infiltrating your property. Not only are your valuables at risk, but your family members as well. A simple break and enter can quickly escalate into something more violent, so it's important that you don't let it get that far
If you are heading off for the holidays, one of the first things you should do is tell your neighbours and friends that you are going to be away. Tell them what dates you will be gone, and when you are expecting to be back. It doesn't hurt to call them every other day while you're gone to remind them (you don't have to tell them you're reminding them, but a subtle phone call can put them back on alert).
You should also look into getting security shutters installed on your doors and windows. When a would be thief sees that it's going to be difficult to break into a house, they will more often than not just move on to another property. If all they see on your windows is a set of cheap wood blinds, however, they are more likely to strike.
Another thing that you can do is get an automated timer for electrical items like lights. These nifty little devices can be programmed at regular (or, in some cases, even random) intervals and they will switch your lights, television, radio on and off, giving the appearance of someone inside the house.
The best defence against someone breaking into your house is probably an alarm system. Even if they get past all the security measures listed above, if they get into your house and a high pitched siren goes off, you can be sure that they will be out of there without even bothering to search your valuables. The more expensive alarm systems can be linked up to security firms that will then follow up the alarm with a visit to your home.