Secure your home for the holidays | NevadaAppeal.com

Secure your home for the holidays

Sandee Smith

Keeping your home and family safe should be top of mind all year; however, it is especially important to pay close attention this month and next. While we might be looking forward to the holidays, so are would-be robbers for entirely different reasons. Protect your property this season, as well as the rest of the year, with these five security tips:

Always lock all doors and windows: According to SafeWise.com, nearly 30 percent of burglars enter the home through an unlocked door or window. So, use your locks, including your deadbolts, and lock your car, even if it is parked in your driveway.

Ask a friend or neighbor for help: If you're going to be gone for several days, ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your house. Consider stopping the mail and newspaper delivery. Also, invite a neighbor to park his or her car in your driveway.

Additionally, arrange for a snow-removal service to give the appearance of someone being home.

Get smart: This time of year is the perfect time to upgrade your home security system to a "smart" set-up. There are many options to choose from, so it is best to do some research to see what is best for your home and family. You can purchase something as simple as a smart doorbell, such as Ring's video doorbell, that detects motion and provides a view of your front door on your cell phone, or a more comprehensive system with multiple components including smart locks, indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, lights, sirens and more.

Think carefully about online orders: Now is the time of the year that many of us are starting to order gifts online. If there is no one home during the day, consider having your packages delivered at your place of business or make arrangements with a neighbor. The stolen package rate increases dramatically in November and December, even in low-crime areas of town. In fact, according to a survey by Comcast's home security service, Xfinity, nearly one-third of participants say they have had at least one mail ordered package stolen.

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Wait to post photos on social media: It is not usual for would-be thieves to monitor social media sites to find out who could be out of town on vacation. Social media might not list your home address, but there are ways to find out that information. A good rule of thumb is to wait until you return home from your trip to post pictures.

If you need assistance finding a real estate-related professional in our area, contact Sierra Nevada Realtors at 775-885-7200 or http://www.snar.org. Sierra Nevada Realtors is the voice of real estate in Carson City and the surrounding areas. They are committed to building better communities throughout the region and participating in the political process to protect the industry as well as private property rights.

Sandee Smith is president of the Sierra Nevada Realtors and a Realtor with Realty Executives Nevada's Choice in Carson City. She has been active in the real estate industry for more than 25 years in the areas of sales, lending and home staging. Smith values education and knowledge and has earned the following designations: Certified Residential Specialist, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, Accredited Buyer's Representative and Certified Negotiating Expert. She welcomes your real estate questions and can be reached at 775-250-6672 or realtorsandee@yahoo.com.