The holidays are an amazing time of selflessly giving to your loved ones, looking only to see the huge smiles on their faces in return. However, when your friends and family are giving you gifts too, it can make for a lot of holiday-related trash.
Something that many of us don’t take into consideration is that all those big and expensive gifts, like TVs and games consoles, come in cardboard boxes that have the contents stamped on the outside for all to see. If you put these boxes outside your home to free up some space, an opportunist burglar can come along and know that you’ve been given these expensive gifts.
According to Sheriff Mark Gower of Iron County, Utah, speaking to USA Today, suspects have confessed to him that they’ve specifically targeted homes after seeing empty boxes in trash cans.
It stands to reason that the holiday season is the most obvious time for people to be giving and receiving expensive gifts. Therefore it’s not unfeasible that thieves could be going through your trash in order to decide on whether to target your home.
With all this in mind, if you are thinking of putting your holiday trash outside, take off all the labels, fold up your boxes, and never place your trash in clear bags. It’s also a good idea to check the holiday garbage collection times in your particular area, alternatively, to be very safe, you can always drop your trash off at a recycling facility.
In addition to doing the above:
- Never share your travel plans on social media, you don’t know who may be watching.
- Record the serial numbers and take photographs of your expensive gifts, so if the worst happens, you have plenty of details to share with the police.
- Always leave lights on when you’re going out, and install motion detector lights in outdoor spaces.
- Leave your travel plans with someone back home, and give them your details in case of emergency.
- Check all doors and windows are locked before you leave home.
- Don’t leave your spare key under the doormat, or in any easily discovered place.
The holidays should be a time of joy rather than one of worry. By following the tips and advice above you’ll ensure your holiday trash doesn’t give you away, and your possessions remain in your home, where they should be. But in the event that your home is broken into and holiday gifts are stolen, be sure that you’re covered with a good homeowners insurance policy.