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By ROBERT ENGLISH, President | Agent in 78745
  • Before You Leave Home...

    Posted Under: Crime & Safety in Austin  |  October 9, 2014 9:59 AM  |  9 views  |  No comments

    The last thing you want to do while you're on a trip is to worry about someone burglarizing your home. Use this checklist to add some peace of mind to your travel plans.

    • Ask a trusted friend - to pick up your mail and newspaper and keep the yard free of trash and advertisements.
    • Stop your mail but maybe not your newspaper - you can easily handle this online by going to the US Postal Service's Hold Mail Service. A recent story implicated an employee from a major newspaper who was passing customer hold requests to burglars.
    • Don't post about your trip on Facebook and Twitter until you return - some burglars actually look for this type of announcement to schedule their activities.
    • Do notify police and/or neighborhood watch - especially if you're going to be gone for more than just a few days. Let your monitoring service know when you'll be gone and if someone will be checking on your home for you.
    • Light timers make it look like someone is home - use several set for different times to better simulate someone at home.
    • Do unplug certain appliances - TVs, computers, toaster ovens that use electricity even when they're off and to protect them from power surges.
    • Don't hide a key - burglars know exactly where to look for your key and it only takes them a moment to check under the mat, above the door, in the flower pot or in a fake rock.

    These easy-to-handle suggestions may protect your belongings while you're gone while adding a level of serenity to your trip.

  • Don't Leave Home Without...

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Austin, Crime & Safety in Austin, Home Ownership in Austin  |  June 20, 2014 9:31 AM  |  138 views  |  No comments

    alarmyourselfPlanning a summer trip is usually focused on what you’ll do, see and experience.  Enjoy it even more by spending a little time before you leave to make sure your home is safe while you're gone.

    Consider these suggestions along with your other normal efforts:

    • Tell your neighbors you’ll be out of town and to be aware of any unusual activity.
    • Notify your alarm company .
    • Discontinue your postal delivery.
    • Use timers on interior lights to make it appear you’re home as usual.
    • Don’t make it easy for burglars by leaving messages on voice mail or posting on social networks.
    • Post on social networks about your vacation after you’ve returned.
    • Remove the hidden spare keys and give one to a trusted neighbor or friend.
    • Lock everything, double-check and set the alarm.
    • Take pictures of your belongings in case you need them.
    • Disconnect TVs and other equipment in case of unexpected power surges.
    • Adjust your thermostat.
    • Arrange for lawn care.
    • Consider disconnecting the garage door opener.
    • Put irreplaceable valuables in a safety deposit box.

     It’s nice to go out of town on a well-deserved trip and it’s always nice to get back home…especially when it is just the way you left it.

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