Any time is a great time for a vacation! If you are taking a trip, I’m pretty sure that you will remember to take all your children with you. That’s good news and may save your child from a lifetime of therapy. The bad news? He (or she) won’t be able to protect your home from burglars like Kevin in Home Alone did.
There are many simple and effective ways to protect your home while you are away on vacation. Follow these 5 guidelines to help guard your home against burglars and provide some peace-of-mind that your home will be intact when you return.
1. Don’t advertise that your home is empty! Posting vacation pictures on Facebook or Instagram is fun and lets all your friends know how much more fun you’re having this week than they are home working. Instead, either post them after you return or just text or e-mail them to the friends you really want to annoy!! Even if you have strict privacy settings, your posts may be more accessible than you would like. Post them once you are home. Also, arrange with a friend or neighbor to take in your mail and empty trash cans while you’re gone. Nothing says nobody’s home like an overflowing mailbox or an empty trash can on its side in the driveway. In the winter, make sure you make arrangements to have your shoveling taken care of. (You’ll really appreciate that you won’t have to do it when you get off the red eye!)
2. Don’t make it easy! Before you leave, take a walk around your house and make sure all your doors and windows are locked. Don’t make it easy for the burglar…at least make him work at it.
3. Fake them out! Make your house look like it’s occupied by putting some of your interior and exterior lights on a timer to make it look like you’re still home. It’s also a good idea to put a TV on a timer to create the typical noise and flickering lights of an average family home at night. Leave a car in the driveway, or, if there are usually toys strewn around the yard, there is no need to tidy up too much before you leave.
4. Hide those spare keys! It’s hard to believe but almost all burglars know what that fake rock looks like or that many a spare key is left under the doormat or flowerpot or over the door sill!
5. Tell your neighbors! Let the neighbors on all four sides know that you’re going to be gone. That way, there’s at least an occasional eye on every side looking for suspicious behavior.
And while this tip won’t protect your home from burglars, it might protect it from much, much worse…turn your wateroff when you leave for vacation. Although it’s essential during the winter months, it’s also a good idea all year round. A burglary claim is a miserable and very unsettling experience, but a broken pipe or broken fitting is far, far worse. After a burglary, you generally don’t have to move out of your home; after a serious water damage claim, you may not be able to live in your home for many months!