It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning for your vacation that you could forget one important thing to consider: your home’s safety while you are away. Burglary is a crime you need to be wary of. In the US alone, a burglary happens every 25 seconds. This amounts to about 3,456 home break-ins every day. The great news is that with the right information, you could easily prevent this. The following are measures for keeping your home safe while you travel.
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Keep your valuables in a safe
It’s always best to prepare for the worst when dealing with your most prized possessions. While you should do all the necessary measures to prevent a break-in, a contingency plan must still be in place in case a burglary does happen. For such worst-case scenarios, it’s wise to make the work much harder, if not impossible, for the burglars. One way you could do this is by installing a reliable safe. Make sure that it is bolted down so the thieves can’t just carry it with them.
Install a home security system
A report by the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology of the University of North Carolina shows that 60% of convicted burglars revealed that the presence of a security system had effectively deterred them from targeting a home. You can take full advantage of this knowledge by installing a DSC home alarm at home. Make sure your system is as visible as possible. You should also use window stickers and yard signs to alert burglars to your security system. Make sure the signs could be seen from every angle and not just the front entrance. You should also opt for home security systems that can be controlled remotely. This way, you could stay on top of things. This will buy you not just property security but peace of mind as well.
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Create the illusion that someone is home
Make it appear like it’s business as usual at home. Burglars often scout for their next target before they take action, and they love homes that appear vacant. To make your home appear busy, install timers on your lamps in various locations of your home and program them to turn on and off at about the same time they would if you were actually home. A more techie way to go about this is by investing in smart lighting. The technology learns your lighting patterns and consistently applies them even when you are away. You may also install light bulbs that you can control remotely.
Also, retain the same appearance of your house from the outside. If you normally leave your blinds and curtains open, then keep them so even when you’re not at home. Do remember to keep all your windows locked tight though. Make sure they can’t be opened from the outside. To further enhance the appearance of someone being home, you may also leave a car in the driveway.
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Enlist some people to spend time in your home
More than just creating the illusion that someone is home, you could actually just make it so. You can enlist some trusted friends or relatives to help keep an eye on your property by spending time in it while you are away from home. You should also inform your neighbors of your travel plans so they could watch out for any suspicious activities. Give them your contact info so they can get in touch and keep you informed. Also, ask them to collect your newspapers and mails so they don’t pile up in your doorstep. Make sure you promise to return the favor when it’s their turn to travel. You can also enlist the services of a professional house sitter who could stop by to attend to your property and carry out basic maintenance like mowing the lawn, watering the plants, and caring for the animals. If you are currently using landscaping and house cleaning services, keep them active even while you are away. Just make sure they are from providers you trust. Keep in mind that an unkempt place could easily tip off burglars.
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Keep away from social media
All your precautions to make your home look occupied will be useless if you broadcast on social media that you will be travelling. This is even worse if you are maintaining a public account, as there’s no telling who could be checking your profile. Although it can be tempting to update your network and followers about your travel plans and to post as things happen, you should keep your activities discrete while you are away. You can just start posting when you’re finally back home. You can console yourself with the idea that your posts will be better curated then.
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Make sure your GPS is tucked away
You may have parked your car in a hotel parking lot or at the airport with the GPS visibly hooked to the windshield. This is something you must avoid moving forward, as doing this could make you an easy target for burglars. Thieves could break into your car, turn on your GPS, and find out exactly where you live. And as you are parked in a hotel or at the airport, they could easily surmise that your home may be vacant and is an easy target.
If your GPS is portable, avoid leaving it in your car while you travel. If what you have is the built-in type, simply change the programming so it reveals a random business establishment and not your actual home.
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Keep your travel routine varied
As much as possible, you should vary your travel schedule. One thing you must know is that the majority of burglaries are committed by people who live nearby. As a matter of fact, burglars often live within two miles of their target home. As they are practically your neighbor, they could easily track your movements and predict when everyone is away for travels. This could undermine all your other efforts to make your home look occupied. The best recourse is to make your travel plans unpredictable.
While you should always work hard to have a secure home, you must remember to not let paranoia seep in. Have confidence in the fact that you’ve taken the necessary precautions, then just sit back and relax. And of course, enjoy your travels!