A break-in is the absolute last thing you want to discover when you return from vacation. Experiencing a burglary is traumatizing and can be a financial nightmare. Follow these simple tips to help prevent a break-in while you’re away.
1. Turn on the lights
An unlit home broadcasts that no one is inside. If you leave all the lights on while you’re away, they’ll be blazing day and night, increasing your electric bill. Lamp timers make your home look occupied. Brighten your home after dark and keep your electric costs lower by installing lamp timers. Set the timers to go on before it’s about to get dark. Set the timers to shut the lamps off around the time of sunrise. Use a timer to turn the television set on and off during the day, making it seem like your home is occupied during daytime hours.
2. Make sure all blinds and curtains are closed
Thieves will check to see if someone is home by peeking in the windows, so fit all your windows with coverings. Do a walk around the outside of your home to make sure all the curtains, blinds and shades are closed snugly before departing.
3. Maintain the Exterior
Have a friend pick up your mail and newspapers. Ask your friends to move your car every few days to make it seem you’re around. If you have a garage, park the car inside it, not on the driveway. In cold winter months, have someone shovel snow from your sidewalks and driveway. In the summertime, arrange for someone to mow your lawn.
4. Don’t Advertise
When you’re going away on a vacation, don’t tell people on your home telephone voicemail that you’re out of town. Many burglars call the home first to see if anyone is there. Also, don’t announce your vacation plans on your Facebook account or any other social media sites. Thieves scour social media to see who’ll be away from home.
5. Exterior Lighting
Use motion-activated exterior lighting in the front and back yards, driveway and other outside areas. When lights turn on when a person approaches, a thief is less likely to attempt a break-in. Also, when your exterior lights turn on due to motion, rather than being on constantly, your neighbors are more likely to notice someone moving around the outside of your home.
A secure home makes for a more relaxing vacation for you and your family. Taking a few simple steps before you leave helps ensure that your return is as uneventful as possible.