Do you and your family have that special family vacation planned for this year? Maybe you and your special someone have a romantic getaway planned for the weekend? If you plan on vacationing for any extended period of time, do not let yourself become an easy target for burglars and home invaders. Thousands of people become victims of theft each year, simply because, without knowing, they advertise their absence. Burglars are keen to the tell tale signs of an empty home. Here are a few tips to help keep your home secure, and your mind worry free while enjoying your well earned vacation:
1. Do NOT let your mailbox pile up: Whether you forward your mail, have the postal service put a temporary stop on it, or have a friend pick it up for you it is important to not have a full mailbox in your absence. This is an invitation to would be crooks, and also opens you up identity thieves gaining your important information from pillaging your mail.
2. Notify your neighbors that you will be gone: While nosy neighbors can be pesky at times, they may turn out to be your best friend while away from your home. They can be valuable in stopping a burglary at your home, and they won’t hesitate to contact the authorities.
3. Remove all “emergency keys”: Nothing can be more frustrating than getting locked out of your house, so many people leave emergency keys under door mats, flower pots, or other inconspicuous places. While this definitely isn’t encouraged, it is even more important to remember to take these keys with you on vacation. A burglar can lift up a door mat and hit the proverbial jackpot. Do not make it easier on these thieves, take your keys with you!
4. Make your home appear lived in: Whether it means leaving your drapes open, your air conditioner running, or turning on a radio it is important to create the illusion that someone is currently living in the home. This includes having someone come cut your lawn in your absence, or even a little temporary house sitting.
5. Protect valuables: If you have items that can’t be replaced, or will cost a fortune doing so, you may want to consider putting these items in a safe or a safe deposit box. It may cost a little bit in the interim, but it can save you dearly in the long term.
6. Make sure all doors and windows are locked securely!: This may seem like a given, but you would be surprised how many homes are broken into through unlocked doors. In the rush of the moment, people commonly run out the door leaving windows unlocked and sometimes even open. Do not assist in the burglary of your home, lock your doors and windows.
7. Consider installing a home security system: If you don’t currently have a home security system you may definitely want to look into doing so. They can serve as your eyes and ears while you are away enjoying your vacation. They will ensure your home is secure, and in the event of a security breach they can contact the law enforcement. This will be your best line of defense in your absence, and will be a valuable asset to you and your family throughout the year.
While there is no way to assure total security while on your vacation, if you follow these tips you are well on your way to protecting your home in your absence. For more information on securing your home, you may want to contact your local police department for more tips and tricks on protecting your home.