Are you planning a summer getaway? The American Automobile Association reports that over half of U.S. drivers are planning a road trip this summer. With over 650 million long distance trips made each year between Memorial and Labor Day, many of us are looking forward to some much needed time away. Unfortunately, so are robbers and thieves.
According to the Department of Justice, rates of household larceny and burglary are highest during the summer. To avoid becoming a statistic, summer vacation preparations must include preventative measures to protect your home. Here are some simple and effective ways to secure your home while you are away, many of which take only minutes to complete.
- Lock and secure all doors and windows. Deadbolt locks make it harder and more time-consuming for someone to break in. Doors with glass panels should be secured with a deadbolt lock that can only be opened with a key from the inside.
- Place a pipe or piece of wood in the tracks of sliding glass doors.
- Unplug automatic garage door openers.
- Ask the post office to hold your mail or have a friend or neighbor pick it up everyday.
- Use automatic timers to turn lights, TVs and radios on and off at appropriate times of the day. Lights that are always off (or on) make it obvious that no one is home.
- Hire a landscaper to tend to the lawn while you are away.
- Have a trusted neighbor park in front of you house.
- ‘Case’ your home from the street like a potential burglar might to identify potential weaknesses and to make sure valuables are not plainly visible.
- Let trusted neighbors know that you will be away and ask them to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.
- Remove the spare key you have hidden outside your home.
- Depending on the size of your city or town, consider notifying the police if you’re going to be gone for longer than a week.
- Turn off and disconnect your computer from the Internet. In case your computer gets stolen, use security features to make it difficult for thieves to access any personal or sensitive data stored on the device.
- Lock away (or at least hide) valuables .
- Have someone pick up the newspaper or any other items delivered to your house.
- Have someone put trash containers out for pick-up and bring them back again.
- Activate your home security system. Make sure the alarm is functioning and that authorities are immediately notified if someone breaks in.
- Bring valuable outdoor items indoors.
- Lock and secure cars, recreational vehicles and boats.
- Tell only people you trust that you are going away.
- Think twice before posting vacation pictures on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites.
Vacations are supposed to be fun, relaxing and carefree, which is why we spend so much time preparing for our time away from home. Since all vacations must end, time should also be spent preparing for our return home. After all, nothing erases pleasant vacation memories faster than returning to a burglarized home.
Please contact us to discuss whether your insurance can protect you while you are away.
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