Wonderful! You’re going away on vacation. You’ve worked hard, and you deserve a break. Make sure you don’t get a “Break and Enter, “as well.
Here are fifteen tips to help ensure that when you return from vacation, your home and possessions will be as you left them. If you follow some of these suggestions, you’ll enjoy your holiday more, because you’ll know you’ve taken ample precautions. The only thing that you’ll worry about will be whether you left the iron or the stove on, by mistake. There is no cure for that worry!
1) Put your mail on hold.
There’s nothing that says, “Nobody’s home,” like an overflowing mailbox or a pile of mail on the porch or a full mailbox. Do this early enough to allow the post office to get the information to your mail carrier. Just to be sure, do it three or four days before you leave.
2) Put your newspaper delivery on hold.
A pile of unread newspapers is as clear as a neon sign saying, “Vacant,” to the thief.
3) Get a timer for your lights.
They’re not expensive, and they give the illusion that someone’s at home.
4) Turn on the radio.
Leave some music playing or put the radio on a twenty-four-hour talk channel, anyone approaching your premises will hear it and assume someone is home.
5) Customize your answering machine.
Never put a message on your answering machine which states, “We’re not home right now…,” because if a well-organized thief is calling to see if anyone’s home, they’ll know that the coast is clear. You might as well put on a message saying, “Come right in.”
6) Adjust your drapes.
A debate about whether to leave your drapes open or closed when you’re on vacation has raged on for years. You must decide what’s best for you considering what’s visible from outside your windows. Some fence-sitters in this debate leave some drapes closed and some open.
7) Move your car.
Another debate surrounds whether you should leave your car in the driveway. Many people feel that an observant thief will notice a car that never moves. Others think that a car on the property will convince a thief that there’s someone home. You know your neighborhood best and should make this decision.
8) Use padlocks.
Padlock all gates which lead to your back yard. A thief won’t be happy about the idea of trying to get back over the gate while carrying your 70” television and other large items.
9) Ask friends for help.
Get someone trustworthy to go to your home regularly to move the curtains, water your plants and do whatever yard work needs to be done. It’s unlikely that your trustworthy friend will have a home-wrecking party as always happens in the movies.
10) Have a local emergency contact.
Give a contact number to a neighbor or friend for emergencies.
11) Lock up tight.
It may seem obvious, but double check that all the doors and windows are locked.
12) Install a security system.
If you have an alarm system, call the security company and let them know that you’re leaving and if someone’s taking care of your property, inform that too. Suggest that they send a representative to drive by your place every couple of days. (Not at a regular time, and not too slowly or obviously.)
13) Notify police patrol.
Let the cops of the locality know your travel plans. As with the security company, they could drive by occasionally.
14) Install a hidden safe.
Get a floor safe and store your valuables there. If installed properly, it should be undetectable.
15) Get a house sitter.
Consider hiring a house-sitter. Having a dependable person living in your home may be your best insurance against being a robbery victim.
Start on your preparations well in advance of going away and it will all be worth it when you see your property retreat in your rear-view mirror knowing that you’ve done everything in your power to protect your home and belongings from criminal attack.