Everyone has a lot on their mind during this season… but making sure you secure your home for the holidays should be a priority.

If you’re staying home, click here for some fun ways to use your security system. If you’re traveling, here are five things to do before you leave:

1. Have a plan.

Think through your travel plans early and make a list of what you need to do. It’s probably not a great idea to fix the broken window lock the morning you’re leaving, so plan to do that a few days in advance in case you need parts or a professional.

TIP: The experts recommend leaving early in the morning to avoid delays, both on the roads and at the airport.

2. Give a neighbor access to your home.

Have someone watch your home – even if they’re just watching for unusual activity.

If a neighbor is going to be inside checking on pets or plants, give them their own user code to your wireless security system. You can rest easy with text notifications that tell you when your neighbor (or pet sitter!) enters and exits your home.

3. Make it look like someone is home.

Lighting control has come a long way since the days of automatic timers and it is just as affordable (adding lighting control to your wireless security system costs as little as $65).

You can set your lights to come on at a certain time every day, or, for added realism, you can randomize the time by several minutes. This prevents thieves from “learning” your habits by taking not of when your lights are turned on and off.

4. Remember the backyard.

Your backyard is probably the most open and vulnerable area of your home – and it often hold many of your most expensive items (lawn tools, kids toys, etc.).

Add a contact sensor to your gate (if you have one) so you know when the gate is opened.

5. Don’t advertise the gifts you received.

We’re all for recycling, but putting boxes on your curb that show what you received for Christmas just isn’t smart. Unfortunately, the thieving season isn’t over at Christmas… they’re driving the neighborhoods through New Year’s looking at trash cans and watching your schedule.