Securing Your Home During Darker Winter Months
With the start of autumn and the clocks set back to winter time, it gets dark much earlier, even while people are still at work. Burglars take advantage of this increased protection from detection to break into empty apartments and homes—when it is dark inside a home, it is a sign that no one is home. Additionally, Christmas time is sadly a big season for break-ins as so many people visit family or go on vacation during this time. The Kantonspolizei Basel-Stadt offers several tips on how to lessen your chances of becoming a victim of a break-in this holiday season:
- Make sure that all the windows, doors, side entrances, basement windows, and skylights of your home are secure. Balconies are an especially popular route of entry!
- Be sure that external buildings, such as a garage, do not provide easy access to thieves.
- Install a couple of timers on your light switches that will turn lights on and off in the evening, or use SmartHome devices that allow you to remotely control lighting, shutters, etc. and give the impression that you are home.
- Exterior lighting that is activated by a motion detector is an effective way to scare off a potential burglar.
- If you go away on vacation, inform your neighbors and ask them to keep an eye on your home during your absence and to notify police at 117 or 112 if they notice anything or anyone suspicious.
- Do not leave a note on your door or mailbox advertising your absence.
- Do not let your mailbox become overfilled; ask a neighbor to periodically empty the mailbox or organize at the post-office to have your mail stopped during your absence (this can easily be done online at https://www.post.ch/en/customer-center/online-services/ele/retain-mail/info).
- If you regularly receive packages, milk, or produce, organize a neighbor to receive goods in your absence.
- Do not hide any keys in your garden, mailbox, flowerpots, or under the doormat.
- Do not announce your absence on social media.