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Away for the Holiday Season? Don’t Come Back to a Disaster.

Feb 10, 2015

 

home-disaster


Empty homes are a surefire target for thieves. They are adept at spotting when a property has been vacant for a lengthy period of time. You can save yourself the worry and enjoy your vacation if you adhere to the following tips:

  • The first thing to do is to make sure that your window and door locks are sturdy and strong. True, a good thief will always find a way to bypass security, but as a rule, break and enter is a crime of opportunity. The harder you make it for a potential thief, the less chance he will have of targeting your home.
  • Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway while you are away. This gives the impression that there is someone constantly in your house. A potential thief will think twice about targeting a home that they don’t think is empty. Also ask a neighbor to collect your daily mail and newspapers. Better yet, call the post office and newspaper to have them both suspended while you are away. A stuffed mailbox is a sure sign of a vacant home.
  • Install motion detector lights in the front and back of your home. A bright light source will deter thieves, who prefer to break into a home under the cover of darkness if possible. Inside lights should be set on an automatic timer to give the appearance that someone is living there. Set the timer to go on and off at different times of the day and night. A good thief can pick up on timers that are set for the exact same time every day. Also consider putting your television or radio on a timer.
  • Always hide your valuables. If a thief manages to break into your house, he or she will want to complete the job as quickly as possible. Again, the harder you make it for a thief, the less likely they are to target your home. It would be a good idea to find a storage area in your home and equip it with a sturdy padlock that will take a thief some time to break into.
  • Another point regarding valuables – keep pictures or videotapes of your valuables in a separate area, away from your home. This makes it easier to identify the items if they are found by police. Many police forces can supply homeowners with identification numbers that can be etched into valuables. This also makes it easier to identify them should they be stolen. Because these items can be easily traced, they aren’t as valuable to a thief.
  • Have your neighbor open the drapes in the daytime and close them at night. Again, this gives the impression that there is always someone at home.
  • Leave your bathroom light on and the door slightly ajar. Any presence of light in a home will serve to deter a potential thief.
  • Lock your garage door as well. This is a common entry point for thieves as it is less noticeable than trying to break into the front or back door of a home. Put a padlock on the garage door track to prevent it from being pried open and cover any windows to obscure the contents of the garage from the outside.
  • Don’t announce your travel plans, except to family members and neighbors who will be watching your home while you are away.
  • Check your home insurance policy to make sure that it is up to date and that it will cover all of your valuables in the case of theft.
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