Summer is here and that means vacation time for families in Toronto and throughout Canada. Unfortunately, summer is the busy season for burglars for just this reason. There are a range of very simple things that you can do in order to better secure your home while you and your family are away.
It’s been a hard year of long hours spent away from your family. Thankfully, summer is here and you and your spouse are getting ready to take the kids on that long awaited vacation to the beach. As excited as you might be for your much anticipated trip, it is important to keep in mind that burglars aren’t ignorant to the fact that many people will take their vacations during the summer. I don’t mean to make you paranoid; however, this is the case.
Securing your home while on vacation doesn’t require that you have a moat dug around your home and filled with crocodiles or guard dogs and armed patrols. The following are 10 steps that you can take in order to help insure that you don’t return from your dream vacation to a home nightmare.
Tip 1: House-Sitter
There is absolutely no doubt that the most ideal way to keep your home secure while you are away is to have a relative or friend house-sit for you. If you can’t find someone to stay at your house and if you are flush with cash then you can even contact a service to house-sit for you.
Tip 2: No Need To Advertise To The World You Are Going
Facebook might not be the ideal place to tell your friends that you’ll be away in Thailand for a month. You might as well hang a huge neon sign in front of your house that says “Rob Me!” You can vouch for your friends, but what about your friends’ friends or their friends? Avoid posting anything about an impending vacation on any of your social network pages or blogs.
Tip 3: Have The Post Office Hold Your Mail
A mailbox busting at the seams is a very solid indication to burglars that a home has been unoccupied for a period of time. If you are planning to go away for more than just a few days then contact your local post office and have them hold your mail for the period that you’ll be away.
Tip 4: Put A Hold On Any Newspaper Deliveries
A mountain of newspapers piled up on a driveway is another solid indicator to burglars that homeowners are away. If you have a newspaper delivery then contact them and have them hold deliveries until you return.
Tip 5: Have Someone Check On Your Home Periodically
Putting a hold on your mail and newspapers is great; however, there are other things that can give away the fact that you are away to burglars. A pile of fliers sitting at a doorstep, for example, says just as much to a burglar as an overstuffed mailbox or a pile of newspapers on a driveway. Have a friend or, better yet, a neighbor periodically check your home to make sure that everything is kosher…they can even feed your fish while they’re at it.
Tip 6: Contact Your Local Police Department
Call your local police department, or even stop in if you have the time, and inform them that you will be away. They will be generally be more than happy, especially if you live in a small town, to have a car swing by your home every now and again to make sure that all is well.
Tip 7: Invest In Some Timers For Your Lights
It isn’t hard for a burglar to see when a home is occupied. People come in and out, lights go on and off, etc. The same is true of an unoccupied home. If you can’t find someone to stay at your home while you are away then your next best bet is to create the illusion that someone is at home. The way to do this is to have a couple of lights and even televisions set to timers. Have the lights go on and off in different rooms periodically throughout the day and burglars will get the impression that your home is occupied.
Tip 8: Don’t Forget The Landscaping
If you are going to be away for more than a week then I highly suggest that you have someone come and mow your lawn. A lawn that looks somewhat ragged and neglected, especially one that is typically well cared for, will draw the wrong kind of attention.
Tip 9: Remember To Lock Everything
This isn’t so much a tip as it is an imperative. Remembering to lock up might seem obvious; however, with the excitement of an impending vacation, people forget all kinds of things. Remember to lock all of your doors and windows and set the alarm.
Tip 10: Don’t Leave A Portable GPS Device In Long Term Parking
If you’re going away and planning on leaving your car in the long term parking lot at the airport then don’t leave a portable GPS device in your car. Burglars know that people who park their cars in long term parking at the airport are away from home. All that a burglar needs to do is snatch the device and they have a quick route straight to your home.