Home Security When You Are on Summer Vacation
Nothing ruins the joy of a summer vacation more than returning home and discovering you have been robbed. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, one home out of 16 is robbed annually. Here are some ways to protect your home while your family is out enjoying the sun and surf.
- Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to watch your house while you are away.
- Give the phone number where you are staying and other pertinent information to a trusted friend or neighbor in case of an emergency.
- Advise your local law enforcement agency to place your home on its patrol list.
- Have a friend stop by to take in your mail, newspapers, and other deliveries. If this isn't possible, cancel all deliveries and mail.
- Have a neighbor park his/her car in your driveway, to give the house a "lived-in" appearance.
- Make sure the doors and windows are secured before leaving your home.
Set household lights (inside and out) on variable timers.
- Leave spare keys with a neighbor or relative rather than hidden outside the house. A burglar knows where to look!
- Make a list of your valuables - VCR's, stereos, computers, jewelry. Take photos of the items and list their serial numbers.
- Arrange to have your lawn cut/snow shoveled while you are away.
- Arrange to have garbage put out for pickup.
- Leave curtains in the position they would normally be while you're home.
- Have radios or a TV on timer and set to a talk-show station.
- If you have a pet, arrange for it to be fed, watered, walked at home rather than taken to a kennel.
- Don't advertise your departure.
- Do not state on your answering machine that you are not at home.
- Try to be discreet when packing your luggage in your car.
- Make sure exterior lighting is adequate. Motion detector/ dusk detector outdoor lighting is good to invest in.
- Neighborhood watch concepts should be implemented. For example, know your neighbors, work together for your mutual security, report any unusual or peculiar activity, and know your local police officers.
- And remember: lock your doors and windows.