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Holiday Home Security Dos and Don'ts

Your empty house is an easy target for burglars. Deter them with these tactical tips

Safe and Secure for The Holidays

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Leaving town for the holidays can make your house a target for burglars. Keep yourself from becoming an easy target with these tips from Los Angeles-based security expert Chris McGoey.

Do Light Up at Night

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Set manual timers to turn indoor lights on and off during evening hours, or try a remote device that allows you to flick the switch using your tablet or smartphone, like the WeMo light switch (about $50;

Don't Advertise Your Absence

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Ask a trusted neighbor to collect your mail and newspaper every day. Also, resist the urge to update your status on social media to reflect that you're away from home (for instance, "Visiting the folks in Delaware").

Do Reinforce Your Door

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If you've got a wood doorjamb, the lock strike plate is the weakest point in your door. Upgrade to a heavy-duty strike plate, and use four 3-inch screws to secure it to the doorframe.

Don't Neglect Your Windows

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Adopt a second line of defense for ground-floor windows, where 23 percent of break-ins occur. Insert sash pins to secure double-hung styles, or consider arming windows with a wireless alarm.