Before you get too excited about that extended trip, make sure that you leave your home safe and secure. Any dream holiday could turn into a nightmare when you find out you’ve been burglarized or robbed while on vacation.
Reduce Inviting / Tempting Visuals
Packages of expensive items, unopened Christmas presents under the tree, a pile of unopened mails or unread newspapers on the doorway – these are just some of the things that tell a burglar you’re out so they can come in. At best, destroy packaging of expensive items or keep them until they are collected. Don’t place your tree near windows visible from the street. If you have unopened gifts, conceal them by placing them under the tree skirt. Hold your mails and newspaper subscriptions at the post office until you come home.
Create the Someone-Is-Home Illusion
Set up timers for the lights, television and radio. Don’t tidy up your home so much. Having some amount of clutter – unrolled hose, scattered toys, car in the driveway – creates an illusion of normal family activity. Ask a relative or a neighbor to take care of your lawn such as mowing the grass or removing snow so that your property wouldn’t not look abandoned.
Set Up Security Systems
Install security systems in and around the house to keep intruders at bay and to monitor your home remotely. Also, advertise your efforts for securing your house. Rutger’s University School of Criminal Justice found in its 2009 study that having burglar alarms and security cameras inhibit burglars from entering the property.
Don’t Announce Your Vacation Publicly
Although it is necessary to notify a trusted neighbor or relative about your whereabouts, it’s not wise to announce at social media or place a note on your door that you would be gone for quite some time. Also, don’t leave a voicemail message on your phone. Nefarious elements can always disguise as telemarketers or researchers, just looking for houses to break in. Just let someone know where you are going and for how long and that’s it.
Photos by: SuperJet International, Chris Waits, colleen, Michelle