Extra clothes? Check. Toothbrush? Check. Prepare home?
While it’s always a good idea to ask a trusted neighbor, friend or family member to keep an eye on your things while you’re away, here are some other tips to minimize the risk of robbery or disasters.
- Don’t Advertise. As much as you’d like to share the picture of your toes in the sand, wait until you’re back. Posting vacation plans or even leaving voicemail messages saying you’re away is like an open invitation to criminals.
- Look Occupied. Make it look like someone is home. Leave your car in the driveway, keep water circulating in your pool, put a hold on your mail and use timers on interior and/or exterior lights.
- Secure Valuables. Even if you have a security system, taking a few extra precautions can’t hurt.
- Leave motion-activated security lights on.
- Close and lock all doors AND windows.
- If you have a security company, let them know when you’ll be gone.
- Disconnect any garage door openers and lock manually (criminals can crack electronic codes).
- Remove any spare keys you may have hidden outside. Thieves probably know all the good hiding spots so you’re better off have a friend, relative or neighbor hold onto it while you’re gone.
- Move any fine jewelry to a safe or bank safety deposit box.
- If you have a home phone, lower or shut off the ringer so it can’t be heard outside.
- Make sure fine art, expensive electronics and other valuables aren’t visible through the windows.
- Rethink ‘Valuables’. You might not have expensive jewelry, priceless art or fur coats but you might have things that are valuable to a thief. Don’t forget that some thieves may be after materials that can be scrapped for quick cash or less expensive items that can be sold online before you even realize it’s gone. Here are some examples of common items being stolen:
- Tools & Lawn Equipment
- Loose items left in your car
- Metal (especially in vacant and vacation homes)
- Minimize Potential Damage. Thieves aren’t the only thing you should protect your home from. Aside from the obvious, making sure the stove and coffee maker are turned off, shut off water lines, make sure your sump pump is working properly, turn off washing machines, dryers and dishwashers and unplug small appliances and electronics.