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Protecting Your Home When You're on Vacation

While you are away enjoying your vacation, your home is vulnerable to invasion from intruders looking to make mischief and/or steal your belongings. According to the U.S. Department of Justice the difference in the percentage of burglaries in summer and winter, between 1993 and 2010 was 11 percent, with the greater number occurring in summer.

There are steps you can take before going on vacation that will make your home a less likely target for thieves or intruders. Keep these things in mind before you go on vacation so you can rest easier while you are away.

Basic Security Tips

These basic, yet prudent, home security measures offers some degree of protection for your home and your family while you are enjoying a little time away from it all.

  • Be mindful of social media posts. It is natural to be excited about your upcoming vacation, but when you share these things on social media, you are opening the doors for other people to hear that your house will be vacant and unoccupied on certain dates.
  • Have the post office hold your mail. The service is free and helps you avoid the tell-tale signs that no one has picked up the mail for several days.
  • Stop your newspaper delivery. Alternatively, ask a neighbor to pick up your paper daily and check for flyers left on your doorknob while they are there.
  • Remove your spare key. If criminals know you are going to be out of town, they know they have time to search around for spare key hiding spots. Remove the key before heading out so that there is nothing for them to find.
  • Install a monitored alarm system. You should also notify your alarm company if you are leaving town so they can notify the police on your behalf if the alarm trips. Then, make sure all doors and windows are armed before leaving.
  • Make sure you have a service, friend, or neighbor to mow your lawn or shovel your walks. If your lawn suddenly grows shaggy or your walks become covered in snow or ice while you are away, it is a sure sign that no one is home. Same goes for droopy thirst-quenched plants. Hiring a service to come in and do these tasks in your absence gives the appearance that someone is home taking care of these critical tasks.
  • Don't input your home address in your portable or car GPS. If your car is parked at the airport or hotel and it gets stolen, it provides a convenient turn-by-turn direction to your unoccupied home.

The more occupied your home appears, the less attractive it will be as a target to criminals.

Basic Home Precautions to Take

In addition to the tips mentioned above, there are certain precautions you may want to take with your home, including these.

  • Set timers on your lights.
  • Lock your garage.
  • Unplug unnecessary appliances and electronics (to protect from power surges).
  • Turn down/up heating and cooling as is appropriate for the season.
  • Protect pipes from freezing in winter.
  • Ask a trusted friend to check on your home while you’re away.
  • Join your local neighborhood watch group, if applicable.
  • Call your home alarm security company and let them know you’ll be away.

Some extra vigilance can make a huge difference when it comes to the safety and security of your home and belongings. These simple steps and advice will help you have one less thing to worry about while you’re away from home on vacation – leaving you far more time to enjoy your trip instead.