Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Security Tips for Iowans

Family enjoying thanksgiving meal

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, the holiday season is in full swing, which means you’ll likely be traveling. Some of the highest volume of burglary crimes are reported around the holidays. Whether you’re traveling across Des Moines for a day or across the country for a week, there are steps you can take to make sure a thief doesn’t target your home or possessions.


Set the Security Alarm

While Iowa experiences lower crime rates than some other states, our communities are not immune from thieves. Homes without a security system are three times as likely to be burglarized as homes with one. Security systems can only do their job effectively as long as they’re armed. Once you have an alarm, remember to set it before you leave for the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s also good to get in the habit of setting it whenever you’re away—whether you’re going to the grocery store, visiting a friend, or running other errands—and even at night when you go to sleep.

Protecting your home while you’re away on vacation has gotten even easier with remote options like Total Connect Mobile Services from Strauss. Not only can you activate or deactivate your alarm system from your phone, but you can also switch lights on and off and control the garage door opener. It’s always best to have someone you trust watch over your house when you’re away, but Total Connect Mobile Services will give any potential burglars the impression that your house is occupied, deterring them from targeting your home.  


Lock all Windows and Doors

The Des Moines Metro reported dozens of home burglaries this summer. Most of the criminals broke into these homes simply by walking through unlocked doors. Please remember to lock all doors and windows before you ever leave the house, especially those on the ground level. If you have a large sliding door, a rod or a wooden dowel in the track can help prevent thieves from entering your home if they manage to break or pick the lock.


Place a Hold on Mail & Subscriptions

There’s no better way to show your home is unoccupied than by having newspapers pile up on the porch or the mailbox overflowing with mail. Plan ahead before you leave for the holidays and place a hold on all subscriptions and mail services. The United States Postal Service will hold your mail up to 30 days, and you can easily place a hold online.


Avoid Social Media

Believe it or not, social media has become one of the best resources burglars use to break into unoccupied homes. Avoid announcing your departure on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels. Wait until after you’ve returned home to post all your pictures and update your friends on the wonderful holiday vacation you had.


Tell Someone You Trust

Having a close family member, friend, or neighbor watch your house while you’re away is one of the best ways to protect your home. Even if your housesitter doesn’t stay at the house every night, they can get your mail, take care of the lawn, put out the trash on garbage days, collect mail, or even leave a car parked in the driveway. Make sure they have a spare key and the code to your security system. It’s also a good idea to inform your security provider and even your local police department that you’ll be out of town, but be sure to give them the name and phone number of the person watching the house. If you want to be extra prepared, give your housesitter the name and contact information of your insurance agent just in case your house has a burst pipe or a fire while you’re away.


Business owners must be vigilant around this time of year as well. With so many employees out for vacation and the office being closed for an extended period of time, there are must-have security measures owners can put in place to protect their business and assets.


Commercial Security Systems

Just like homeowners, small and large business owners must remember to activate their security systems, especially when the office will be closed for a longer time period. Strauss Security Solutions offers many options depending on each business’s unique needs. Commercial security systems can include but are not limited to window and door alarms, remote system management, disaster alarms (fire, CO, etc.), and security cameras.


High Security Locks

If you’re a business owner concerned about employees making duplicate keys or having access to restricted areas, then high security locks are the perfect solution. Strauss Security Solutions is a certified installer for Medeco CyberLocks. The keys for this system cannot be duplicated and the locks cannot be opened by unauthorized keys. You no longer have to be concerned about employees entering restricted areas of the office while everyone is out on holiday; the CyberLock High Security Lock System keeps track of everyone who opens or attempts to open doors in the office.


Indoor & Outdoor Cameras

Security cameras are a great way to keep tabs on the office, especially when it is closed. Strauss has a wide variety of indoor and outdoor cameras to choose from, such as DVR/NVR, analog or network cameras, PTZ cameras, and even security cameras with remote video viewing capability. As a business owner, you have enough to keep track of day to day, so allow yourself to have some peace of mind this Thanksgiving and actually enjoy your time off!

The key to a safe, stress-free holiday is to plan ahead and ensure you have the proper systems in place. Remember that the Des Moines Metro isn’t the only area we serve; Strauss is certified for the entire state of Iowa and installs security systems in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and other Iowa communities. If you need to install or upgrade your security system before heading out for the holidays, give us a call!

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