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Protect Yourself From Home Invasions​​​​​​​

by Mere Davis

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December can be such a magical month for so many of us. The camaraderie of the holiday season brings a special kind of happiness. Maybe it's the lights or the music, but everyone seems to be smiling, and a little kinder to one another. We tend to show our gratitude more frequently - and we put things into perspective. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. However, this time of year also brings criminals much joy. We've all seen the film Home Alone; If only we had the skill to protect our homes as well as Kevin McCallister. Unfortunately this isn't the movies - this is real life, and statistics show that burglaries increase tremendously in the few weeks leading up to the new year. According to the FBI the United States robbery rate was 400,000 during the 2015 holiday season. And in 2017, the average property dollar lost per home burglary, was $2,251. That's a lot of robberies, and a lot of money! Whether you live in an apartment, "tiny house" or a huge mansion, your home is a target during the holidays. Here are some tips that will help keep you safe over this holiday season. Watch what you post on social media. • Hold off "checking in on facebook"or posting your location and holiday plans. Most burglaries happen when no one is at home. • Several burglars are, or hire professional internet hackers. Even if your Facebook or Instagram privacy settings are on high security, if someone wants to view your page, they will find a way. • Don't post pictures of presents, especially popular children's toys that are in high demand, expensive jewelry or designer clothing. Burglars see this and conclude that you keep items in your home. Watch your back. • While walking to your car on the street, or in a parking lot, make sure you are more aware of your surroundings. Especially at night! This isn't just to protect yourself from a crime of opportunity - most likely burglars have tried to memorize your schedule. They are hoping to hear when your house will be free, so they can make their big move. Your house should look lived in. • Make your house appear that someone is always home. Most often the master bedroom is the first to be robbed, try leaving a lamp light on so they won't even think of stopping in. • If you decorate your home with holiday lights, purchase a timer, that way your lights will turn on even if you aren't there to do so. If your house is lit up on the outside, it signals someone is home. • You can find very inexpensive timers at Home Depot, or Amazon. Beware of Christmas carolers and religious groups. • Surprisingly 34% of burglars enter through the front door. Christmas carolers are lovely to listen to, and seem so harmless. But listening to sweet holiday songs is a perfect time to distract a victim. • Often burglars send their own children to the back door to scope out your property. Or, to break in and steal what's closest to their reach. • Crazy as it may sound, some burglars ask their own kids to take photos through home windows - hoping they can get a good view of inside of your home. There is a reason why most robberies last usually less than 10 minutes. • Burglars sometimes pose as door-to-door religious groups, such as Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses. You can be polite, but make sure to follow the rules above. Don't keep empty boxes outside • If you've purchased your gifts online and have such boxes to prove it - better keep them to yourself. This is a perfect opportunity for someone to see what items you have in your home. • Make sure your boxes are compressed and no personal information is visible. Stay away from drugs and alcohol • Holiday parties, especially New Year's Eve is payday for criminals. And of course, other horrific crimes such as sexual assault are very common. Please be aware of who you are celebrating with. • Most home burglaries are committed by someone who lives near by. Even if you are at a friends home, don't leave your drink unattended, or over share personal details of your life. • Any information someone can gather on you makes it easier to harm you. • It may be easier said than done, since almost everyone indulges in alcohol - limit your consumption over the holidays to one or two drinks. We hope these tips make you feel more safe around the holidays. Please feel free to contact Davis & Davis if you have any questions regarding this matter. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and even if you don't celebrate these holidays, have a safe December and a happy New Year. Happy Holidays! Uniontown Office: 107 East Main St. Uniontown, PA 15401 Phone: 724.437.2799 Brownsville Office: 113 Thorton Road Brownsville, PA Phone: 724.785.7733

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Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law

107 East Main St.
Uniontown, PA 15401

Phone: 724-320-2388
Fax: 724-437-2035
Uniontown Law Office Map

113 Thorton Road
Brownsville, PA 15417

Phone: 724-320-2388
Phone: 724-785-7733
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Davis & Davis Attorneys at Law

Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law