Summer trips are a great way to spend some time with the family, rest up, and see new places. Unfortunately, they can also be a great time for thieves.
Home burglaries rise annually in the summer months, in part because families are out of town. If you are headed on a summer vacation, be sure to follow these guidelines to protect your family’s home and belongings while you are gone:
- Use timers or a home automation system to turn your lights on and off while you are away. A dark house can be an invitation to burglars, but basic light timers or a security system with home automation may scare off thieves. A home automation system gives you the power to remotely turn lights on and off, lock doors and adjust the thermostat. It’s almost like you’re home even when you go out of town!
- Cancel mail and newspaper subscriptions while you are gone. Piles of papers in front of your house can tip off would-be burglars to your absence.
- If you have a home security system, make sure it is armed before you leave. There is no use in having a system if it is unarmed when it could be most useful.
- Ask local police to carry out occasional drive-by residence checks. These quick checks simply involve police driving by your house once or more each day to check things out. Many police stations are happy to do this while residents are out of town and the sight of police near your home can be enough to keep potential burglars away.
- Outside of family and friends who need to know, try not to tell many people that you will be gone. This means waiting until after you come back to post about the trip on social media sites and not advertising the trip to acquaintances. Even if you trust your friends online, or the person who you are talking to, you can never be sure who they may mention your vacation to. Criminals use this information to target homes they know will be empty.
- Keep an inventory of all valuables in your home. If your family’s home is victimized while you are away, a list of electronics, jewelry and other items of value can help police track down criminals and ensure that insurance companies can repay you. If possible, record serial numbers as well to aid police in their search.
These easy steps can give you more peace of mind on your trip, so that you can focus on enjoying time with your family!