Imagine returning after a long, relaxing vacation only to find that your home has been burglarized. According to the FBI, a burglary occurs every 18.2 seconds in the United States. Burglars are opportunists, so keep the opportunity down to a minimum this summer and follow these simple tips.
Lock It Up
The obvious advice is to lock your doors and windows. But when was the last time you got your locks changed? Statistics show that 6.4 percent of unlawful entries are committed by someone with a key. Getting new keys and locks shouldn’t be reserved for moving into a new home; situations like relationship changes, lost keys, and aging locks should also be taken into consideration.
Make Your Home Look Occupied
Nothing screams vacant like a home with no lights on. Always leave a few lights on when you go out. If you’re going away for an extended period of time, connect automatic timers to lights both inside and outside your home. You can also leave your TV on to give the added perception that the home is occupied.
Don’t showcase what your home has to offer; keep things like lawn mowers and bicycles out of site. If you’ve made a recent purchase, don’t leave the packaging out on display – no one but you should know about the new flat screen in your living room. You may want to reroute or reschedule any pending deliveries if you’re out on vacation.
There are an array of affordable devices out there when it comes to home security. From motion-sensing lights to alarms with 100-decibel sirens, you can set up multiple layers of security without making your home look like Fort Knox. There are also a number of smart devices, such as wi-fi smart socket outlets that allow you to turn lights on and off from your mobile device.
Letting the daily newspapers pile up in your driveway is like posting a “Not Here” sign in your front yard. If you’re going on vacation, ask a trusted neighbor if they’d be open to collecting your newspapers and mail while you’re gone. It’s also not a bad idea to have someone you know maintain your landscaping, even if it’s just mowing the lawn once a week.
Stay Off Social Media
Don’t advertise your vacation in real-time. As tempting as it may be to post pictures of your legs lounging by the pool or a selfie in an exotic location, no amount of likes are worth the potential consequences of telling social media that you’re not at home. This goes for Facebook check-ins at the airport, as well.
Whether you’re going to the beach for a couple of weeks or just out running errands, don’t let your home become an open prospect for burglars. As an extended precaution, you may also want to double check your insurance policy and take pictures of everything in your home before you leave.