Holiday Hazards for Homeowners!

‘Tis the Season for Theft
Nearly 60 percent of consumers will do their holiday shopping online, with the majority taking advantage of free delivery, according to the National Retail Federation. Allowing those packages to be left out on the porch makes them easier to steal. More than 20 million Americans have had deliveries swiped from their doorsteps, according to a study conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

The latest Allstate Survey found that, when ordering items online or by telephone during the holiday season:

Packages for the taking. Nearly four in 10 homeowners – both first-time and experienced – frequently allow delivered packages to be left out on their porch or stoop. About three in 10 renters do the same.

Unsafe delivery. Only 41 percent of first-time homeowners often make sure someone will be home to accept the package, something that happens even less with more experienced homeowners and renters.

Work is not an alternative. Just 13 percent of first-time homeowners, compared to 10 percent of experienced homeowners and 9 percent of renters, frequently have packages delivered to them at work.

tripHoliday trips also may become holiday home hazards. While travelers take some precautions before departing, they may also leave behind opportunities for theft:

  • Nobody home. Just 16 percent of first-time homeowners, 17 percent of renters and 27 percent of experienced homeowners say they plan to stop their mail and/or newspaper delivery before taking a holiday trip.
  • Unlocked homes. Eighty-one percent of first-time homeowners, compared to 80 percent of renters and 77 percent of experienced homeowners, plan to ensure all of their doors and windows are locked before they leave on a holiday trip.
  • Unlocked vehicles. Nearly 70 percent of first-time homeowners, but only 59 percent of experienced homeowners and 45 percent of renters, say they will make sure vehicles left in their driveway or garage are locked.

Think no one will notice you’re not home? Think again – and don’t risk making your home and valuables easy targets.

Social Media Oversharing

Social media also can unlock opportunities for holiday home hazards. First-time homeowners – about three-quarters of those surveyed are millennials – are more likely to take risks on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other popular sites over the holidays.

Forty percent of first-time homeowners spend more time on social media during the holiday season, compared to the rest of the year. This is the case for only a quarter of experienced homeowners and 24% of renters. Those who post may provide very personal details:

  • Look at me! Seventy-one percent of first-time homeowners say they’re likely to go on social media to share pictures or video of themselves at their holiday travel destinations, compared to half of renters and 44 percent of experienced homeowners.
  • On the road again. About a third of first-time homeowners say they’re likely to share details about their travel itinerary, such as being at the airport or on their way home – information that only 22 percent of renters and 19 percent of experienced homeowners say they’re likely to share.
  • Showing off presents. And 65 percent of first-time homeowners, versus 38 percent of adults, say they’ll probably post presents they received.

Oversharing on social media can send a message to criminals that a home may be unoccupied – information holiday travelers should keep confidential.

Review these tips

  1. Schedule deliveries for when someone will be home – or have packages delivered to a neighbor or friend who is home during the day.
  2. Routinely lock your home and vehicle, even if you’re only leaving for a short time.
  3. Stop mail and newspaper deliveries during holiday travel, or have a friend or neighbor pick them up daily.
  4. Avoid “checking in” to vacation locations or activities on social media.
  5. Wait until you return home to post photos and/or video of your holiday trip, and ask family and friends not to tag you on vacation photos they post while you’re away.

For more home safety tips and information, visit The Allstate Blog. Also, Mayhem, a familiar face in Allstate ads, is getting into the holiday spirit with the release of his original holiday album “A Very Mayhem Holiday.” The album will feature seven original holiday songs and will be available to enjoy at or

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