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Travelling Soon? Remember To Protect Your Home While You’re Away!

09.10.15

Whether you are driving cross-country or taking a cruise to paradise, travelling means your home will be left unoccupied for several days or even weeks. Thieves target homes that appear to be empty and there are a number of other things that can go wrong while you are away. Therefore, it is important to learn about the precautions you should take before your weekend retreat or spectacular vacation.

Beyond Locked Doors

You need to take a few basic safety precautions to make certain your home and its contents will be as safe as possible in your absence. In order to keep burglars away, you have to consider more than just locking the doors and setting all your lights on timers. If you are planning to be away from home for more than twenty-four hours, you need to go beyond your regular lockup routine.

  • Put your mail on hold – If you allow the mail to pile up in your mailbox or on your doorstep, it will instantly tip burglars to your absence. If you are going to be away for more than just a few days, have the post office hold your mail. You will want to do the same if you subscribe to a daily paper. Otherwise, you can ask a neighbor that you trust to collect your mail and newspapers daily until you return.
  • Keep quiet – It may be tempting to brag about your vacation plans on social media. However, to be safe, it is best not to say anything until you return from your trip. Once you are back home, then you can share all your vacation tales and post photos of your time away.
  • A trusted friend or neighbor – In addition to collecting your mail and newspapers, a trusted friend or neighbor should also have your vacation contact information and a spare key. This way, you have someone who can contact you if there is an emergency. Do not leave a hidden key anywhere on your property while you are away.
  • Display security – A great idea anytime, but especially when you are on vacation, you want to let burglars know that your home is not a great target. If you worry that alarm company signs will provide thieves with helpful information, use signs from another company. In addition, authentic-looking fake security cameras are an ideal deterrent.
  • Prepare appliances – Expect for the appliances on times, unplug everything to prevent a power surge or electrical fire. This applies not only to the bigger items like your television, but also your coffee maker, toaster and small appliances. Turn down the temperature on your water heater and set your air conditioner to eighty-five degrees.
  • Protect your valuables – Make sure that any sensitive documents, jewelry and other valuable items are locked away in a fireproof safe.
  • Call security – Let your alarm company know that you plan to be away for a while. Before you leave, make sure all of the window and door alarms are set and properly functioning.

The Illusion of Occupancy

Set your lights, television and radio to timers. Typical household noises and flickering lights will look like an average family is home for the night. However, there are a few other ways to make it look like your home is occupied.

One way is to leave at least one car in the driveway the entire time. Ask a friend or neighbor to mow the lawn at least once a week. After all, an unkempt lawn is just as telling as a pile of mail or newspapers.

If you normally have a yard full of toys and an unrolled garden hose, make sure it still does while you are away. Anything that makes your home look lived in is far better than tidying up before your trip.

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