The holiday season is a joyful time of year, but it can be ruined in a moment. Crime rates tend to rise during this time as thieves take advantage of families’ travel and break into homes. If you want peace of mind, prepare for the holidays by taking on the following home security projects. A privacy fence is your first line of defense against holiday criminals.

1. Install a Fence Installing a fence provides your home with a first line of defense. The extra obstacle will help deter would-be thieves from attacking your home. Fall is a good time to install a privacy fence because spring is the busiest time of year for these installations, and fencing contractors often need to work between weather changes, which means higher prices. Fall has fewer rainy days and the ground is often dry enough for fence posts to properly set. Best of all? An attractive fence will also increase the value of your home. Not only does it increase the kind of home privacy that many people look for, but buyers with children and pets will appreciate an enclosed yard. Further Reading: How to Install a Fence Every home security plan should include surveillance cameras.

2. Get a Security Camera Video surveillance can help you keep an eye on your home even if you’re hundreds of miles away. Many surveillance systems connect to an app accessible on your smartphone, tablet and computer, so you can see if unauthorized individuals attempt to enter your home. You should install cameras at all your home’s entrances. If you can, cover the front door, back door, side door and garage. It’s also good to install cameras in trees and other hard-to-reach places to cover other parts of the home, should someone attempt to break in through a window. Many security systems include cameras as part of the package.

If you can, invest in a full system. Make sure that some of the equipment is visible; it also helps to have a sign with the security company’s name staked in your front yard. After all, thieves are less likely to target homes that they know have monitored security.