Sun, Fun and Burglary? How to Protect Your Home While on Vacation

vacationIt is important to safeguard your home on an everyday basis, but especially when you travel or are away from how for long periods of time there are certain precautions you should take.

  • Get a trusted friend or relative to “house sit.” Or, make sure your neighbors know your plans. If you don’t feel comfortable asking a neighbor, ask the police. Dependent on officer availability many community police departments will check your home for open doors, windows and smoke.
  • Have a neighbor pick up your newspapers and your mail for you daily, and make sure to include solicitor flyers left on or in the door.
  • Lock all doors and windows, and secure the garage door, including securing the garage door remote – don’t leave it in an unattended car for a burglar’s easy access.
  • Leave a car parked in the driveway, or ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.
  • Leave a house key — and a number where you can be reached — with a trusted friend or neighbor.
  • Use timers to turn lights on and off at certain times, altering lighting patterns, to create an occupied look. If possible use sun activated timers since power outages could interrupt an electrical timer. Also be wary of automatic sprinkler systems – sprinklers running during a downpour screams no body is home.
  • Leave drapes and shades open as normal. (Closed blinds during the day are a sure sign of an empty house, plus they allow a burglar to attend to his business unseen by neighbors.)
  • Arrange to have your lawn mowed.
  • Be sure your trees and hedges have been trimmed. This gives burglars fewer places to hide.
  • Replace any burned-out lights in your yard. Consider upgrading outdoor light fixtures with devices that have built-in motion detectors, which turn on the lights whenever anyone walks past.

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