Seven Smart Tips for a Safe 2020 Holiday Season

This year, more than ever, we all deserve a festive, peaceful holiday season. That means doing our best to protect our holiday moments by taking those extra steps to keep our homes and loved ones safe.

To help with that, we've put together some easy tips to strengthen your home security now, so that you can focus on the fun parts of the season.

1: Start with security cameras

Two-thirds of homeowners worry that their home is more attractive to criminals during the holidays. One of the most visible and useful ways to deter criminals is to equip your home with security cameras, which sends a clear message to potential intruders that you've taken action to protect yourself.

Alarm.com-powered cameras go a step further with video analytics, an intelligent feature that classifies moving objects as people, animals, or vehicles and lets you know who's there. It can even trigger your home's smart lights to turn on, surprising a potential intruder (two-legged or four-legged).

2: Make friends in the right places

It's the perfect time to re-connect with your neighbors; not just for the feeling of community, but to team up against neighborhood crime. By keeping an eye out for each other, you'll make your own homes safer too.

When you can't connect in person, new digital tools make it easy to stay in touch and up to date on neighborhood news. If you see something suspicious, let your neighbors know and ask them to do the same.

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3: Give your packages some extra protection

With so many people buying gifts online to avoid the crowds, even more packages will pile up on doorsteps across the country this year. A doorbell camera and smart lock can help keep your packages safe.

When a delivery driver rings your doorbell, you'll get an alert on your smartphone instantly. Just tap the microphone button to say hello and ask the driver to leave the package outside. If you're away from home, you can unlock your door and turn off your security system for a moment so that the driver can put your packages inside.

4: Simplify your home security routine



Did you know that most days, one in three homeowners worry that they didn't lock their house? Holiday excitement makes it especially easy to forget things like checking all the doors and security system before running an errand. Don't worry: we have solutions for you.

Alarm.com Scenes let you secure your whole home with a single command as you leave. Just tap your preset Away Scene on your Alarm.com app to have your doors lock, your security system arm itself, your garage close, your lights turn off, and the thermostat set itself back to save energy. It's a smarter approach than trying to do it all yourself when you're running late.

If you forget to close or lock something, our Geo-Services feature sends you a reminder. Once you hit the road, you'll get a notification that you need to lock up, close the garage or arm your security system from your Alarm.com app.

5: Enjoy the coziness but watch the candles



Decorating and cooking are some of the best parts of the holidays, but they bring seasonal fire risks. Make safe choices, like choosing flame resistant holiday decorations, and be sure to replace any worn or broken cords and loose bulbs. Always turn off light strings and other decorations before leaving the house or going to bed.

Home cooking fires cost $1.2 billion in property damage each year, according to the NFPA. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they work and replace them at least every ten years. A professionally monitored security system like Alarm.com can alert you to a fire and notify your monitoring service, who'll dial 911 on your behalf while you focus on your family's safety.

6: Create an essential just-in-case plan

Hopefully, you'll never have to use it, but an emergency plan is crucial for everyone living under your roof, including furry family members. If a fire breaks out, all members of the household should know what to do, where to meet, and who to call.

The Red Cross recommends practicing different versions of your plan twice a year. If you use Alarm.com, you can add family members to your alerts, and relax in the knowledge that your professional monitoring service has the emergency call covered.

7: Look out for your loved ones

Even before the pandemic, 7 in 10 adults with parents over 60 felt concerned that they couldn't visit them frequently enough. At the end of 2020, the feeling is universal.



Consider Alarm.com's Wellness technology for a new way to stay connected and ensure that your loved ones are safe and well. Installed in an older adult's home, Wellness discreetly reads daily activity patterns to alert you to any potential wellbeing issues. It's ideal for an older parent who values the independence of living by themselves but feels that they could use an extra safeguard, just in case.

Bonus tip: Protect yourself from digital danger too

If you're new to smart home security, remember to protect your account from online intruders. The idea of a digital attack on your home security is frightening, but protecting yourself is simple.

The typical intruder doesn't target the technology company—they go for your login credentials. The solution: update and improve your password, and set up Two-Factor Authentication.

Thinking about home security for the holidays?

You'll appreciate the extra peace of mind this season but you'll enjoy the benefits of a modern security system all year round. Alarm.com is professionally installed and monitored, and customized for your home, it's the easiest way to rest assured and enjoy the season.

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