Protect your home while on vacation

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About 40% of burglaries don’t involve forcible entry. Just by properly securing your home, you can reduce your chances of unlawful intrusion

Ensure your home is secure when you’re away

While the warmer months are the most popular time for travel, they’re also the most popular for home burglaries. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 65.8 percent of burglaries are residential and occur in 8 to 12 minutes. Burglars also search for homes that are unoccupied.

Since nothing ruins a vacation more than worrying, make sure you’ve taken sufficient measures to deter burglars and thieves from entering your home.

Here are some tips to keep your home safe and secure while you’re away:

  • Never indicate that you’re away from home on your voicemail message. Turn down your phone ringer volume. Unanswered telephone calls can alert housebreakers to an unoccupied house.
  • Have you locked every door or window, including the door to your garage?Eliminate easy entry points by keeping entry doors, windows, and the garage door closed and locked while away. To secure sliding doors, invest in a door security bar that prevents unauthorized entry. Also, make sure all your locks are working correctly.
  • Show activity in your home while you’re away. Keep a car in the driveway, and keep interior and exterior lights on a timer. Consider a randomized time to turn your lights on and off, so they don’t all come on at once or continuously on the same schedule.
  • Pause newspaper and other deliveries while you’re out of town.
  • Most people hide their valuables in one of three places — a dresser drawer, the bedroom closet, or the freezer. Thieves know this, so it’s better to invest in a proper home safe to protect jewelry, firearms, cash, and other valuables.
  • Given the rise in identity theft, consider installing password protection software on your home computer to deter tech-savvy thieves. For example, Master Lock Vault is a combination website-mobile application that keeps all your usernames and passwords safe and secure, free of charge. You can find out more at www.masterlockvault.com.
  • Arrange for lawn care. Have your landscaping tended to by a friendly neighbor or local service. Before you leave, trim tree branches that might allow access to a climbing burglar.
  • Stop newspapers and mail. Stop mail and newspaper deliveries, or have them regularly picked up by a neighbor. Again, you don’t want to quickly clue in a burglar to your absence by the mounting newspapers on your driveway.
  • Plan some exterior lighting. Set these lights on timers as well to deter burglars.
  • Don’t leave spare keys outdoors. Collect any hidden spare keys from around the exterior of your home. Remember, burglars know the most popular hiding places, like beneath mats and in potted plants.
  • Lock the garage. Even if there is no entrance to your house from the garage, there’s still a chance for numerous things to be stolen. Secure the door and any entries to the garage.
  • Avoid Social Media.

Lastly, good neighborly relations are a great deterrent to crime. Offer to keep an eye on your neighbor’s property while they’re away and they’ll likely do the same for you.

Once you’ve secured your homefront you can rest easier on your vacation.

Hat tip to Masterlock and The Window Advisor