request info email to friend
Protecting Your Home When You Are Not There
Maybe you spend the winter in a warmer clime, or maybe you are just taking a week-long vacation. While you are planning your packing and making your reservations, don’t forget about safeguarding your home from burglars while you are gone. Experts suggest that you:
Get a good security system. This will alert the authorities if there is a break-in, fire or other breach of your home. You also can get systems that can sound the alarm if there is a water leak or if the furnace goes out; these are especially useful if you have a vacation home in a colder climate or if you are leaving your main residence up north for the sunny skies down south.
Be careful whom you tell that you will be gone. Avoid posting about your upcoming trip on social media, for example. But it is a good idea to alert the local police, especially if you will be gone for an extended time.
Ask someone to keep an eye on your house. You don’t want to broadcast the fact that you will be away, but you should ask a friend, relative or neighbor to keep an eye on things and to drop by periodically to ensure that all is well.
Stop your mail and newspapers. When the mail or papers pile up, it is clear no one is home.
Put lights on a timer so that your house is not dark all the time. It is a good idea to put different lights on different timers, so that not all the lights come on and go off at the same time.
Find someone to mow your lawn, shovel your walk and driveway, take out your garbage. etc. If bad guys are casing your neighborhood, you want it to look like you are in your house and taking care of these basic chores.
Lock all your doors and windows, including the garage. This sounds basic, but if you think about it, there probably is a window or door you don’t necessarily always lock. Lock your garage in case someone steals your car with the garage door opener in it. The thief can just look in the car for your home address, drive to your house and push the opener to get inside.
Don’t leave out a hidden key. You know that spare key you keep under the flower pot in case you get locked out? Don’t leave it there while you are gone, because burglars know all about hidden keys.
Put really valuable things in a safe or safe-deposit box. That way, even if someone gets into your house, they won’t be able to get your real valuables.
Have someone stay at your house. This works best if you are gone for a relatively short time; most people are not able to pick up and move to someone else’s house for a season. You can hire a housesitter, but be sure you work with a reputable company and get someone who has passed background checks and has insurance.