Winter Home Security

winter home Winter officially arrives this month bringing with it a lot of distractions. It can be easy to lose sight of home security. Don’t let the shorter days and colder nights deceive you. Winter is the season when home accidents and burglaries are more likely to occur.

Let it Snow?

How do you keep your home is safe even when you’re not there? Let’s start at the beginning: shoveling snow. Even if you live in an area that doesn’t typically receive a lot of snow, this is a must-do step before leaving your home for an extended period.

Check your local weather for the time you’ll be away and make sure to have a plan in place so your home and property are carefully maintained while you are out-of-town. In winter, the first sign no one is home or has been home recently is snow that is not plowed or shoveled.

Park it

Should you routinely park in the driveway or in the garage? Why does it matter? This is more complicated than it sounds and there are varying opinions on the “right” answer.

  • A car in the driveway that is not moved can be a sign no one is home.
  • A driveway with no cars at all can be a sign that no one is home.

As tempting as it might be: DO NOT park your car in your garage. This holds true when you’re home but especially when you’re away. That’s where we fall on this discussion. We believe a car parked in the driveway discourages the casual criminals.

The truth is a criminal can breach your home without ever checking to see if there is a car in the garage. Most burglars pass on homes with cars in the driveway. A car in the driveway raises too many unknowns –  like who is home and are they armed.

And while we are talking about cars and garages, don’t forget to make sure your garage is properly lit. This is for your routine safety and convenience. Both inside and outside lights are important, which bring us to our next point.

Lighten Up

Using indoor and outdoor light timers is crucial to winter safety. It discourages would-be burglars from targeting your home while helping keep you and your family safe when arriving home in the dark. And safe leaving in the dark hours of the morning, too!

Don’t make the mistake of thinking Christmas/holiday lights are enough to light your outside. They’re not! Use motion detectors in hard to see locations and make sure your front/back door lights work. There’s a lot more to winter (and even to December) than the holiday season.

Lights are one step. Things that block light are another consideration. Cut away greenery that can aid a would-be burglar under the cover of darkness; particularly in blind-spot areas of your home and property.

Check it Out

The cold weather can wreak havoc on outdoor security equipment so make sure to check it often. This is a concern especially battery-operated cameras and lights. Batteries can deteriorate more quickly in cold weather. And an iced-over camera lens is not going to give you accurate images. Check for and remove ice and snow build-up.

Delivery Options

Whether you’re expecting your standard Amazon delivery or Christmas gifts ordered online, make sure you have a plan to handle the deliveries. Leaving them unattended on the front porch even for a short while is an invitation to criminals who porch-pirate. Think about arranging for someone to check for deliveries often if you can’t do it yourself.

And a note on the same topic – after the holidays, don’t advertise your jackpot by putting out all the boxes at once for recycling pick-up. Empty boxes – particularly large ones – say there are new expensive items in your home.


Finally, create a safety routine for frequently checking all doors and windows. Why do we even mention this in our cold weather tips? Cold and moisture and ice and snow can each warp or otherwise interfere with secure closing and locking. Incompletely closed doors and locks can be more readily breached or jimmied.

Bottom line for winter home security is to think about what differences the cold and the dark can make in your normal home security arrangements. Holidays and vacations add some extra concerns. But common sense and simple preparedness can keep you safer.

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About Bret Smith

I am a long-time lover of all things outdoors. Whether hunting, shooting, fishing or just hiking and camping, I take every opportunity to enjoy nature and share it with others.

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