Every year we offer an update to our recommendations to safeguard your home while traveling. There are several things that you can do to minimize being the victim of a home burglary while traveling. Empty homes are a prime target for home burglaries. Experts agree that there are some common-sense things that you can do to protect your home while away. Having security devices like an alarm and motion detection lights installed can help but here are some common-sense things you can do to minimize your exposure:
- Make arrangements with a trusted friend, neighbor, or relative to pick up mail and newspapers on a daily basis. Yes, you can notify the post office and local newspaper to stop service because you’ll be on vacation however; there was a story a couple of years ago about a burglary ring that was using a vacation stop list from a large, urban newspaper as a directory of homes that were unoccupied.
- Notify your local police that you’ll be gone. Some police departments will occasionally check to see if everything is ok. Make sure they are aware of any friend, neighbor, or relative that you’ve asked to help.
- Put some lights in your home on timers that go on and off during expected periods. Timers are very inexpensive and can be picked up most hardware or home improvement stores. Also place a radio on a timer and have it tuned to a talk radio show with the volume at a normal level.
- Outward appearances are important too. If it is summer than have plans for your lawn to be mowed or if it is winter than make plans for snow removal while you’re gone.
- Be careful on social networks. Announcing your travel plans to your friends on Facebook or Twitter might be just what the local burglar to find empty houses. Or posting pictures to your account while you’re on the trip might be fun but it also lets others know that you are not home.
- If you have weekly rubbish removal than arrange to have your bins placed on curbside and returned while you’re gone.
Remember the fewer people that know that you’re going away the better. It’s always best to have you home looked occupied. Use common sense and you’ll have a more enjoyable trip and probably less of a surprise when you get home.