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Keeping Your House Safe While Away on Vacation

Many Americans take a vacation during the summer, heading out of town, often a few hundred miles away – or sometimes further afield. While you are away, your home will likely be sitting empty and that could be a target for thieves. But there are precautions you can take to thwart them.

Buy a home security system
A home security system is probably the very best way to protect your home, aside from having someone stay there while you are gone. There are a number of systems and services on the market, so you should take your time to figure out which one best suits your needs and budget.

Keep quiet about your plans
While you may find it hard to resist the urge to tell all of your contacts on social media that you are heading off on an exotic holiday, you should not announce your plans – and should also refrain from providing daily updates and selfies of your adventures. It won’t hurt you to post that information when you return.
While you likely don’t have to worry about your friends and family robbing your home, criminals online may lurk among your friends’ contacts. Remind your children to also refrain from posting their activity on social media.

Make your home look lived in
Make your home look occupied by:

  • Installing timer switches on a few lights and even your TV, so that they turn on and off at certain times.
  • If you park your car outside your home, ask a friend to periodically back out and park it differently to make it seem like someone has driven the car.
  • If there’s a swimming pool, keep the water in it circulating.
  • Don’t cancel your lawn service and make sure to keep your automatic sprinklers going on their timers.
  • Ask the post office to put a hold on delivering mail.

Additional security measures

  • Make sure all windows and doors are security locked.
  • Put in a secondary blocking device on sliding doors and windows so that they can’t be opened if a burglar successfully unlocks them.
  • Install exterior security lights with motion sensors that turn on when someone approaches the house.
  • If you have a security system in place, call the security company to let them know you’ll be gone.

If you want to go even further in protecting your home, you can:

  • Disconnect the garage door opener and lock it manually.
  • Move valuables like expensive jewelry to your bank safety deposit box or a home safe.
  • Move any valuable furnishings out of sight from anyone peering through your windows.
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