At all times of the year we're concerned about theft and burglary from our homes but during the holiday season this seems to be even more of a concern. There are some specific things that you can do however.
1. Maintain your property. This is especially true during the winter when it's easy to ignore the overgrown yard and maintenance that you might do when the weather is nicer. You want your home to look like it's occupied so pick up the fallen branches and sweep the walk.
2. Get to know your neighbors. This is especially true if you're going to put your home on the market or have guests, or will be going out of town during the holidays. You will want your neighbors to know if there should be people in and around your home.
3. Use Technology to make your home look occupied. Use timers or smart technology to have the lights go on and off and music playing.
4. Remember to lock your doors. Although this seems like a standard practice it's always surprising to me how many people think they live in a safe neighborhood and don't need to lock the doors.
5. Check your homes vulnerability. Walk around the outside and think about what you would do to get in if you were locked out. Is there a window lock that needs to be fixed? Or a door that doesn't shut all the way?
6. Don't forget about lighting. You want to have good outdoor lighting as well as indoor lights. A criminal doesn't want to be seen so make your doors and windows are visible with good lighting.
7. Mark your valuables and keep records of the details. You can use a sharpie, invisible pen or engravers to mark your belongs and remember to take pictures of the them.
So be aware and be thoughtful about your safety and the safety of your home and you will be have less vulnerability for a residential burglary.