By Clifford Strong, CEO of JC Protection LLC | April 21, 2021
A vacation should be a time of rest and relaxation. But if your home is broken into while you’re away, your trip will instantly turn from pleasure into disaster. How can you reduce the chances of burglary if you’re not at home for a few days or weeks? Here are eight straightforward but effective tips.
Wherever possible, put your most valuable items out of easy sight from outside your home. Ideally, you should lock your most precious possessions securely away in a safe or a sturdy cupboard, but if that’s not possible, at least make sure they’re not visible to a potential burglar. The less temptation you offer to an opportunistic criminal, the more likely they are to look elsewhere for easier pickings.
Nothing advertises an empty home more obviously than mail piling up outside. If you can have your mail temporarily stopped or held at the post office then do so. But if not, ask a friendly neighbor to collect it every day and keep it for when you return.
A few simple timers linked to lighting can give the impression that someone’s at home in an empty property. It’s an old trick, but still a worthwhile one. A home that’s completely and consistently dark is always more attractive to burglars than one with intermittent lighting.
Depending on how long you’re vacationing for, it’s a good idea to pay someone to look after yard maintenance for you. In summer, an overgrown lawn is a strong hint that your home is unoccupied, so arrange for someone to do this essential piece of yard work. Similarly, in winter it’s a good idea to have your paths and driveways cleared of snow, to make it look like your home is occupied.
If a leak is outside, a cascade of water that’s not dealt with shows that the property is likely empty. Turning off the water supply before you leave solves both of these problems.
If your family has more than one car, it’s likely that at least one will be left behind while you vacation. Ask a neighbor or family member to move the car around from time to time, as a vehicle sitting stationary for longer than a few days is a clear sign of an empty property.
It’s important to make sure all your windows and doors are securely locked before you leave for your vacation. This might sound like an obvious point, but it’s an easy one to miss in the excitement and rush to get underway. Just before you set out, do a full tour of your home for one last check of every potential entry point.
Lastly, although it’s tempting to post vacation updates onto social media, save your photos and memorable tales for when you return. It’s surprisingly easy for a tech-savvy burglar to search out vacation-related updates, and then use a little online detective work to trace the empty property.
There’s plenty to think about when preparing for your vacation. But amid all the excitement and anticipation, spend a little time following these tips, and you’ll greatly reduce the chances of returning home to a break-in disaster.
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