Tips for Avoiding Home Burglary While You're Traveling

by Ed Forteau / Jul 06, 2011 /
Ed Forteau's picture

Travelers can be meticulous researchers - finding the best deals, places to stay, events, things to see while they're traveling. But too often, travelers only think of what they are doing while they are Away - and not of things back at home. Sure, you've got your pets in the kennel and the plants on an auto-watering system. But there are specific things that you can do to keep your home safe, while you're away. It is one of our worst nightmares, to come home and find all of our belongings gone. Whether you're going away for a weekend, or for a month, here are our top tips on keeping your home (and belongings) safe while you're away.

Fox

Don't let the fox into the house!

1. Information Overload. Don't tell the twitterverse that you'll be gone. Keep the Facebook updates and photos for when you get back. Keep your Foursquare details to yourself. Hold your mail, and keep your last name off the mailbox. When you tell the world that you're away, the mouse will come out to play. Don't advertise that you're gone.

2. Ask your Neighbors. Have your neighbors help out while you're gone - whether it is watering your plants and moving around your lawn furniture in the summer, or shoveling your walk and plowing your driveway in the winter.  Have them use your trash can while you're gone, and take it down to the curb (and back). Ask them to recycle those free newspapers and flyers that always seem to make their way to your front porch. And, most importantly, have them keep an eye on your house. It's well worth buying a spectacular gift from your travels for them, for this peace of mind.

who will watch your house?

who will watch your house?

3. Security. Invest in a security system and a whole-house check. The security company can tell you which bushes need to be trimmed (because bushes are a great hiding place), and where you need the most security. They can also install motion lights, security lights, and advise you as to the efficacy of light timers within the house. Then purchase alarms from them, which notify the police when the perimeter has been breached. While you're traveling, ask your neighbor (we love our neighbors) to handle the phone calls and police if there is a break-in. Splash those security signs all over your windows and yard. Make sure you have double-sided deadbolts on your doors. Lock the windows, put wood poles in the tracks. Notify both the police and security company when you will be gone.

4. Protect your valuables inside the house. Leave a radio on in the house, on a timer. Close your blinds to the rooms where you have the most expensive things. Put security window films on windows that are close to door handles. This makes it more difficult to break the glass. Hide expensive jewelry in fake books, or fake wall outlets - or in a security box at your bank. Store your best dishes and heirlooms in an old moving box in the basement (label it old Christmas light strings - test first). Etch your name and address on tvs, computers, stereos. Use zip strips to hold your electronic cords together - it will make it more difficult to remove. Write down all of the serial numbers and email that to yourself. Put your most important things on a jump drive and hide it in your sock drawer. And, make a record of what you have - go through the house with a video camera and record what's there - if all your other security precautions fail, this will help you to document what you've lost. 

welcome home

welcome home...

 

Follow these simple steps and you'll have peace of mind on your vacation - that your home is safe!

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Tips for Avoiding Home Burglary While You're Traveling