Going away on vacation is a time to relax and enjoy yourself–not worry about the safety of your home. Before you take off on your next trip, follow the tips below to ensure that your home is as secure as possible while you are away.
1. Put the mail on hold. An overflowing mailbox or a collection of newspapers in the driveway is a sure sign that no one is home. Contact the post office and your newspaper delivery service to have your deliveries held until your return. Or, have a trustworthy neighbor stop by each day to collect mail, newspapers and other deliveries in your absence.
2. Secure the house. Make sure all exterior doors and windows are locked–even if they are on the second or third floor. While a locked door won’t necessarily prevent an intruder from entering your home, it will definitely serve as a deterrent. The more difficult it is to enter your home, the more unappealing it will be to burglars.
3. Install timers. Timers on interior lamps, radios and televisions will give the illusion that people are home by lighting up your home and creating background noise at specified times of day. Timers are inexpensive to purchase and plug directly into your wall outlets. Exterior lights should also be set to come on each evening at dusk.
4. Maintain the yard. If you plan to be away for longer than a week, pay a neighbor to cut the grass and keep your home’s exterior looking well maintained. Lawns that are overgrown give the impression that no one is home and attract the interest of potential intruders.
5. Neighborhood watch. Let your next-door neighbors know that you’ll be going away and ask them to keep an eye on your house. If they see anything suspicious, such as unfamiliar vehicles or people on your property, have them contact the authorities to investigate the situation. If you have a neighbor who would be willing to park in your driveway while you’re gone, even better. This will give outsiders the impression that someone is coming and going from your home each day.