Unfortunately, there is often an uptick in home burglaries during the holiday season. In several states, December is the peak month for burglaries as homes are left unattended during the holidays, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
There also is a greater risk of house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), winter holiday fires are more severe than the average fire during the year across all loss measures.
Put your home security system to the test before the holidays. Knowing your home security system and connected smart home devices are working properly can add an extra layer of comfort during this busy season.
Changing the passwords to your security system and any internet-connected device should be at the top of your list. Choose a password that is difficult for hackers, using a combination of letters, characters and numbers. Don’t retain the username or password that came with the system or device.
Additionally, rename your wireless network so that it is not easily identifiable with your home. When doing so, when doing so, don’t use personal information, such as your last name or your house number. Ensure your wireless network is encrypted – and has a very strong password.
Be sure to update your home security passcodes and your contact list with your home security monitoring company. Delete anyone from the list who should no longer have access to your home. Change your passcodes if necessary and make sure everyone in your home has memorized the new passcodes. Also, provide temporary passcodes to anyone who may need access to your home during the holidays, such as a guest, your housekeeper or a pet sitter.don’t use personal information, such as your last name or your house number. Ensure your wireless network is encrypted – and has a very strong password.
Home security system check list:
- If you are traveling during the holidays, alert your home security monitoring service and provide your service with detailed contact information. If you don’t have an audio or video verification system, consider installing one so your monitoring company can hear or see what is happening if an alarm is triggered while you are away. If you already have audio or video verification – confirm that it is functioning properly before you leave for your holiday trip.
- Make certain that your home security system, smart home devices and smart phone are utilizing the most current software and operating systems. Do a test run to validate that all are properly connected – and working as they should – before you leave home for a holiday trip. Additionally, enable the auto-locking feature on your smartphone and engage features that will make it easy for you to wipe any personal information in the event your device is lost or stolen.
- Check your video surveillance cameras to ensure they are pointing at entryways to your home and capture the areas of your home that you want to monitor while you are away. Test your motion detectors and security lighting systems, as well. Don’t make this a last-minute item on your to-do list.
- Help your elderly parents and loved ones by performing a check of their home security system. While doing so, look into the new smart home technologies that can help your loved ones age in place.
- Immediately schedule a service call if you identify any problems with your home security system.