While you are traveling who is watching your house? A burglar...!?
With the holidays approaching many of us will be traveling. While we are out shopping, visiting friends, telling Santa our wishes and enjoying the Christmas lights, an intruder may be knocking at our door and helping themselves to our stuff!
Karen Clark, of Security Choice, shared some year round tips to help protect your home.
Tip No. 1: Don’t Be Afraid to Call for Backup
Have a trusted neighbor or friend drop by your house while you’re out of town just to keep an eye on things. You can even ask that an officer from your local police department check on your place periodically.
NOTE: Where I live there is a team of volunteer police officers that check houses. They do a great job and it is nice to know that someone is checking things out while I am gone.
Tip No. 2: Go for That Lived-In LookTo a certain extent, burglary season lasts all year. The Center for Problem-Oriented Policing reports that although burglary rates tend to hit their peak in August and bottom out in February, the seasonal variations usually aren’t very large. It is important to protect your home every time you leave on vacation, no matter what time of year it is. Put a temporary hold on your mail and newspapers. Mail stops are easily done online or at your post office. This way your mail and papers do not mount up giving the hint that you are not there. Leave an indoor and outdoor light on. It is best to use a timer. By leaving a TV or radio on it can create the impression that someone is home.
NOTE: I have timers that can be set for lights to go on and off at different times of the night. Also, I have motion lights outside. Step on my porch or patio and you will think you are in the spotlight of a Broadway show. Tip No. 3: Wrong Number, Burglar
Set your answering machine or voicemail to pick up after the first two or three rings to avoid having an unanswered call tip off an intruder. Just to be extra cautious, turn down the volume on the phone’s ringer.Tip No. 4: It Doesn’t Pay to Advertise
While we’re on the subject of answering machines, recording a greeting that includes a phrase like “We’ll be in Cancun for the next two weeks” is like ringing the dinner bell for a burglar. Also, don’t use social media to announce your vacation plans — you never know who might be browsing.Tip No. 5: Out of Sight, Out of Danger
You’re proud of that new flat-screen TV, but imagine how proud a burglar will be if he gets one for free. Pull the curtains and close the blinds so that electronics, collectibles and other high-value items aren’t clearly visible from outside your home.NOTE: I am an expert on this one...don't leave your Christmas boxes outside in the recycling or trash. Cut them up...take them to the community recycle bins and not at your house. My neighbor left a box from a large flat screen outside. The TV was gone shortly after Christmas! A police chief once told me...robbers are not going to break in if there is any thought that there might be someone at home, that they have an alarm system, large dogs, you get the point. Keep your home safe anytime you travel. You can find more safety tips at www.securitychoice.com.