Keeping Your Home Safe While You Travel
If you’re planning a trip sometime soon, you have more to do than simply pack your bags. Many home burglaries occur when folks are out of town. We all look forward to coming home after a trip. So, take these few precautionary steps to keep your home secure while you’re away.
- Experts suggest your home’s lights (both interior and exterior) are your number one defense against intruders. Set your lights on a timer using irregular intervals so there’s no predictable pattern. Use motion sensor lights at many spots around your home’s exterior, and make sure the lights illuminate several feet out.
- The next best home safety device is a reliable neighbor. Be sure to inform them of your travel plans, and if you’re comfortable, ask your neighbor to check on the interior of your home. They might also adjust the curtains or pull the car out for a few hours to suggest someone is around.
- Make sure someone (maybe that dependable neighbor again) collects your mail, newspapers, or anything else on a daily basis so stuff doesn’t pile up out front. Another option is to have your mail held at the post office.
- Cut your grass before you leave (maybe shorter than usual), or have someone mow while you’re away.
- If you live in a snowy climate and will be gone during the winter, have someone remove any fresh snow, since a lack of footprints is a sure sign no one’s been around for a while.
- Have your home phone calls forwarded to your cell phone.
- Make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy is current. Consider photographing expensive items like laptop computers or valuable art work in case you need to file an insurance claim. And be sure to have serial numbers recorded in a safe place.
- Don’t leave such valuables visible from the windows or the street to alert burglars who may be looking for a good reason to “visit” your home.
- Finally, don’t advertise to the world (meaning on your Facebook page or Twitter) that you’re taking a vacation. Social networks are prime sources for burglars to research their next targets! Wait until you get home to share your photos and news about all the family fun you had while away on vacation.
And most importantly...enjoy your vacation! Take all the necessary precautions BEFORE you leave so you don't have to worry while you are gone.