Here is a list of holiday home safety tips that you might want to check twice.

We all love to come home for the holidays, but you want to ensure that the home your family and friends visit is as safe as possible, and that you don’t invite criminals in at this time of year. Here are a few home safety tips that you might want to check twice.

Special deliveries.

Thieves often prey on packages left on porches this time of year. While you can’t control unexpected gifts that arrive, you can control what you order. Specify that deliveries require a signature to ensure they make it into your hands safely. If you know that no one is likely to be home when a package will be delivered, consider having it sent to your office or to a trusted neighbor instead.

Curtain call.

While you want to show off those gorgeous holiday interior decorations, leaving your shades drawn and your valuables in full view is an open invitation for unwanted guests to break in. Keep curtains closed when you are not home as a simple but effective theft deterrent.

Status symbol.

We’ve all grown accustomed to checking in with friends on social media when we’re out and about. Just be aware that savvy burglars may be checking up on when you’re home or away as well. Police your privacy settings to make certain that your whereabouts aren’t visible to the public before you post.

Merry and Bright.

Everyone loves holiday lights, but make certain that you take proper precautions when using them. Check last year’s lights for broken bulbs or frayed cords before you put them on the tree. Follow all manufacturers’ guidelines when stringing lights together. Make certain that lights you place outside are rated to handle the weather. Finally, never leave decorative holiday lights on when you are not home.

Light up the night.

At the same time, you should leave exterior lights on while you are away. The extra light makes returning home safer and discourages thieves by putting your home in a virtual spotlight. By the same token, make certain that you leave lights on inside your home when you have overnight guests who may be unfamiliar with your home’s layout. An extra nightlight may help prevent a late night fall.

Visitor proof your home.

Your home may be safe for you, but you’ll want to take the needs of holiday guests into consideration. If small children will be visiting, you’ll want to take precautions to keep hazardous chemicals and sharp, heavy or very small objects out of their reach. Likewise, you’ll want to eliminate tripping hazards for older guests. Don’t neglect furry visitors; make certain that they have food, water and a protected place to sleep.

Check your chimney (or your fireplace).

Not only does Santa Claus need to be able to get down it without incidence, but any smoke from a real wood fire or exhaust from a gas log set needs to be able to safely escape. Fireplaces should be cleaned regularly (per manufacturer instructions) and inspected by a professional to ensure that they are functioning properly.

By taking these precautions, you can ensure that you and your guests have a safe and happy holiday season.