The holidays are a time for joy and cheer, and many families enjoy taking time away from home to celebrate. While this is normally fun and games, things do not always go according to plan. You could get lost on the way there, and it's also highly likely the family car will break down or go missing. While the holidays are a time to celebrate, some people take advantage of extended trips and will rob your home while you are away. Personal safety needs to be practiced during the holiday season. Homes must be secured before extended trips, car theft prevention needs to be practiced, and personal safety precautions should always be taken. Below are several security and safety tips for an amazing holiday this year.

When Traveling

If you or your family are celebrating the holidays out of state there are many safety hazards along the way. Paired with an unfamiliar area, there is a higher risk associated with the trip. The car can break down, get stolen, or get broken into over the span of the ride. Therefore, it is essential to follow a few tips so nothing tragic happens this holiday season.

Make sure your car has been serviced and thoroughly checked before your holiday journey. This means the your tires should be prepared for adverse weather conditions, your oil should be fresh, and the inside of the car needs to be cleaned for maximum comfort. If you are going to be driving through snow, the salt which is poured on the roads will corrode the bottom of your vehicle, so it is a good idea to put some sealant on the bottom of your car. Additionally, you should make sure you have chains, a jump starter, and extra equipment in case of an accident. You should always be prepared in case of an emergency. This means you need to have emergency blankets to keep you warm, some extra food, and water in case you are stranded on the way to your destination. Consider making an emergency care pack with blankets, flares, and other items to keep you and your family safe and provided for. Make sure you have every number you will need written down if you will not have your cell phone with you or think it will lose power.

In addition to keeping your vehicle in good repair, it is best to ensure you have at least half a tank of gas in your car at all times. During the duration of the trip you should also keep your windows up and doors locked. This keeps intruders out and keeps your belongings safe.

Car Theft Prevention

When parking, make sure your vehicle is in areas with excellent lighting. This ensures no one will try to sneak up on your while you are entering your vehicle. Additionally, these areas generally have better monitoring with surveillance and criminals will not think car theft is worth the risk.

Obviously you want to keep your windows shut and your doors locked, but there are many things besides your car criminals desire. This includes loose items like iPods, cell phones, loose change, CD's, or items like your radio. It is best to have a place to store these items when traveling over state lines for extended periods of time. These items can be disguised by placing them in plastic or paper shopping bags while you and your family are away from the vehicle. These bags should be placed under seats or similar areas. This will keep your items looking neutral and uninteresting to others passing by, therefore removing the temptation of stealing. Keeping people out of the car and removing temptations is the best way to prevent car theft.

If you drive an especially expensive car, it may best best to rent a vehicle to appear inconspicuous to others. Often, rental cars are insured against theft and it will not cost you extra money out of pocket. You will gain a blanket of security by appearing more like others, and your car will not be damaged or stolen.

Securing Your Home

Imagine having your children run downstairs only to discover their Christmas presents have been stolen. Such a tragedy does happen to several unfortunate households across the world. There are many ways to protect your home from outsiders who intend to harm or steal from you and your family. For example, you should seriously consider using a home alarm system. An alarm system will alert local law enforcement if security in your home has been compromised. They will check it out and you should hear about the break in immediately. This is especially useful if you are gone for long periods of time on vacation for an extended period of time. No one wants to come home from a good time to a disturbingly empty house.

Interestingly, a sticker stating you are protected by a surveillance system or home alarm system is just as effective in some cases as the system itself. While it is important to understand that a simple sticker will not provide the same protection, it does act as a deterrent to the potential criminals that see it. Visible stickers marking the house in several areas paired with a home alarm system will work as an amazing team to prevent theft and catch crooks.

Make sure lights and activities inside of the home are somewhat visible to outsiders. This works as a deterrent since no one wants to rob a home when it is full of people. This also works as an emotional angle to security. Since many criminals have families of their own, they would feel bad breaking into a home with people actively inside of it. No one wants to see the face of those they are taking advantage of.

Secure your home with updated locks and add deadbolts to access points as needed. If you are renting, make sure the landlord switches the locks to the doors every time a new renter comes in. Prior tenants can make copies of old keys the landlord will not know about, and may enter and exit as they please. If the tenant left on a bad note it's highly likely they are looking to seek revenge on the property owner or even the new tenants. Be careful and take extra precautions in this situation.
Install automatic lights. These will turn on automatically and are programmable to activate at certain times. If you and your family are gone for the holidays for extended periods of time, the lights will trick potential criminals into thinking you are home, even if you are not there.

Install a home surveillance system. Effective systems are now able to be purchased and installed inexpensively and without much effort. Make sure all entrances and exits are covered in addition to any open spots like windows or your garage. Make sure you know what kind of camera would work best on your property. Some places have street lamps and not not need cameras that will record despite the lighting conditions. However, houses in the country will need cameras with the ability to see in the dark. Decide if you want the cameras to be blatantly obvious or subtle. Both types of cameras are widely available; there is a security camera to meet every demand of any household.