Everyone likes to travel, and there are a number of less-than-honest individuals out there who love it when people travel. They are criminals who are just looking for empty homes to burglarize. Home security systems help, but there are ways to make the most of your system to keep yourself from becoming a victim of theft while you are away on vacation.
Is Someone Home?
One way to approach the situation is to make it look as though someone could still be home. This will deter any would-be burglars who do not want to chance breaking in and coming face-to-face with anyone. Enlist the help of a neighbor to pick up your mail and your newspaper each day. If you will be gone on a long-term basis, have the mail forwarded to a friend or relative and put a temporary hold on newspaper delivery and the delivery of any other magazines or periodicals you receive by mail.
Home Appliances on Timers
Put lights and different appliances and gadgets in your home, such as televisions and stereos, on timers set to come on at different times. Make sure your curtains and blinds are drawn so nobody can see inside to verify if it is a person or a timer making things happen. Set up motion activated lights outside the home to draw attention to anyone prowling outside. Also, never set your voice mail or answering machine with a message that you are out of town. Phone numbers are easy to find – even for criminals – and all of the steps you have taken for security could go out the window with a simple phone message.
Make a List
Even with all of these precautions, you should prepare your home in case of a break-in. Be sure to have a list of all of your valuables and electronics, including serial numbers. Store firearms in a secure location, or even off-site with a family member. Put your jewelry and expensive valuables in a safe or, if you will be gone quite a while, in a safety deposit box. Make back-up drives for your computer files and either take your laptop or store it off-site to keep it from getting stolen. And, of course, be sure to set your home security system to its most sensitive function, and give the code to neighbors and family members who will be checking on your home. Always have a real person come by regularly, even with other measures in place, to verify that everything is still fine.