Returning to a burglarized home can be a horrible jolt after a relaxing vacation. Unfortunately, the truth is that an empty home is an easy target for burglars, and peak vacation times show the highest number of break-ins. However, there is good news. Taking the time to make your home less inviting to potential burglars may help prevent theft or damage while you are away.
Making your house look occupied while you are away is key. Between packing and booking reservations for your trip, you may be able to deter criminals by taking the following precautions:
- Stop mail and newspaper deliveries, or ask a neighbor or friend to collect them for you.
- Lower the ring on your phone so it cannot be heard outside. Similarly, turn down the volume on your answering machine if you have one.
- Leave shades, blinds, or curtains in their regular positions. However, move any valuables away from windows so they cannot be seen.
- Trim the shrubs and large trees so trespassers have fewer hiding spots.
- If possible, leave a locked vehicle in your driveway, or ask a neighbor to park there.
- Connect your light switches and a radio to an automatic timer.
- Ask a neighbor or friend to put out your garbage and mow your lawn.
- Make sure all windows and doors are locked. Deadbolts or cylinder locks may provide the best protection for doors.
- If you have a sliding glass door, put a steel or wooden rod in the door channel.
- Consider installing an alarm system that directly alerts a monitoring service or police station in the event of a break-in. If the expense of a system is not in your budget at this time, stick an alarm decal in a visible location to scare off a burglar.
Before you leave for a vacation, take the right precautions to make your home as burglar-proof as possible. Your trip may be much more relaxing and enjoyable if you know your home is safe while you are away.