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.
Planning 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.