More than half of the U.S population will take a vacation away from home this summer. According to FBI statistics, most communities will experience a 10 to 18 percent increase in home burglaries during the months of July and August. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 9 out of 10 home break-ins could be prevented if homeowners would take simple steps to burglarproof their homes.
Rushing out the door to begin enjoying a vacation can cause people to overlook several easy ways to ensure their homes will be protected. Taking the necessary precautions to protect your home while you’re away will save you those nagging worries so you can thoroughly enjoy your trip!
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Here are a few simple “Do’s & Don’ts” to help keep your home safe while you travel:
DO make sure all doors and windows are locked and fastened. Doors should have deadbolt locks with a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate.
DO examine your house from the street and make sure no valuables, like expensive electronics or artwork, are visible from the street. If a passerby can see your belongings, so can criminals.
DO secure sliding glass doors by placing a metal rod or piece of plywood in the track to prevent an intruder from forcing the door open.
DO secure doors with glass panels with deadbolts on the inside that can only be opened with a key.
DO unplug the power to your automatic garage door to keep thieves from opening it with a universal remote.
DO lock the door to your attached garage. If the garage door lifts on a track, a C-clamp tightened on the track next to the roller can prevent the door from being opened.
DO make it appear that you’re home – use timers on lights, radios, and televisions.
DO keep the perimeter of your home well-lighted. You can do this by installing low-voltage outdoor lighting.
DON’T leave a message on your answering machine saying you are on vacation.
DO leave the air conditioner on. A silent compressor on a hot day is a good indication you aren’t home.
DON’T leave clues that you are away. Ask a trusted neighbor to pick up your newspaper and your mail instead of stopping service, which lets people know that you are gone.
DO ask that person to put your trash containers out for pick-up and put them back again when they’re empty and park their car in your driveway occasionally to give your home a more lived-in look.
DO have your lawn maintained if you will be gone for more than a few days.
DON’T close your blinds when you leave on vacation if you usually keep them open. The more normal your home looks, the better.
DON’T post the details of your vacation for the whole world to see. Refrain from discussing your trip on social networking sites. It’s like setting up a sign letting criminals know your house is ripe for the picking!
DON’T leave a portable GPS in your car when you use long-term parking at the airport. It’ll alert thieves that you’re not home and give them a convenient map to your house.
DO keep track of all the keys to your home and make sure they’re in safe hands. Locking your doors is important, but up to 50 percent of burglaries involve the use of a key.
DON’T hide a key outdoors in a protected spot, either. Burglars know the best hiding places better than you do.
DO frost or cover your garage windows, burglars won’t be able to tell if your car is gone.
DO consider installing a home security system, and make sure it is activated when you leave. Recent studies have shown that homes without a working home security system are 300% more likely to experience a theft.
While deterring crime is obviously important in a home security system, there are several other benefits:
- An intruder entering a home with a security system will generally exit the home immediately upon hearing the alarm, significantly decreasing the risk of loss or physical danger.
- Homeowners with home security systems typically enjoy lower insurance rates due to the reduced risk of burglary and fire.
- A home security system can be an added selling point when putting a home on the market.
Protection 1 Home Automation Systems offers an affordable way to not only secure your home, but also remotely manage it. Using their eSecure desktop and mobile apps, you can remotely arm/disarm your home security system, as well as control locks, household lighting, temperature controls, and even look in on your family with video features. Takes the chore out of managing the comings and goings of your household even when you’re on the go!
Here’s to a safe and enjoyable summer holiday for everyone!