Keep your home burglar free.
Going on vacation is supposed to be relaxing, but every time you go away, most people can’t help but wonder what state is my home going to be in when I get back. Did I remember to turn off the coffee pot (the answer there is almost always no!), did I close the garage door, did I lock the back door? Will someone break in while I’m gone? These questions can make your vacation more stress-filled than stress-relieving. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you how to remember to turn off the coffee maker before leaving for an extended period of time, but here are a few things you can do to make your empty home less attractive to potential burglars.
- Leave interior and exterior lights on, or put them on a timer.
- Have someone you trust pick up mail, newspaper, and any packages you might receive while you’re gone.
- Disable automatic garage doors.
- Leave the radio or TV on to create noise in the home. This makes it difficult for a burglar to determine if someone is home. Leaving a TV on can lead to higher electric costs. Consider using a battery operated radio to help conserve energy or in the event of a power outage.
- Turn the ringer on your home phone down or put it on silent while you are away. Criminals will roam the streets listening for loud rings that are not picked up, since this is a sure sign that no one is home. Also, be careful not to leave a voice mail message advising that you are on vacation.
- Make sure you shut and lock all windows and doors.
- Shut the shades or drapes you normally close. Make it more difficult for someone to look in, but not so much the house looks closed.
- Don’t hide a spare key, criminals prey on our fears of being locked out and will look around for that spare hide a key that you left.
- Park in the driveway. It gives the appearance that someone is home.
- Take your laptops and cameras with you. If you don’t; consider marking them with a number (such as car registration numbers or a driver’s license number), this will make it easier for police to return them to you if they are stolen. Keep a record of marked objects incase something happens.
- Try to lock up important papers and valuables in a safe or bank deposit lock box.
- Do not use Facebook, My Space, Twiiter, etc. to let your online friends know you are going on vacation or that you are having a great time while you are gone. Save this for when you get back and are at home. No sense advertising you are away.
- If you have an agency for security, be sure they have your contact numbers (they most likely do) in the event of a break in.
- If you have a do it yourself security surveillance system, be sure you have a tape in the machine and all is operating correctly.
The ultimate goal is to give your home the appearance that someone is there, or will be home soon. Don’t forget - you can always ask your neighborhood watch (of you have one) and your neighbors to keep an eye on your house and let you know if anything out of the ordinary happens.
Have a peace-of mind and enjoy your trip!