Summer vacations are for relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends. No one wants to come home to find that their home has been burglarized especially when many burglaries are crimes of opportunity which can often be easily prevented. When thieves see newspapers stacked up on the porch or porch lights left on for days with no cars in the driveway, it is a safe bet that the occupants of the home are away. Before you hit the road on your vacation adventure there are some simple things you can do that will ensure that when you come home your house will be just as you left it.
Action Locksmith, a trusted Michigan locksmith has a few tips worth paying close attention to.
First and foremost, make sure your doors, door locks, windows and security system are up to date and functional. A faulty door lock or malfunctioning security system makes it easy for perpetrators to trespass and help themselves to your valuables. Hiring a locksmith to survey and repair your locks, doors and security before you leave is worth it.
Doors, locks and windows aren’t the only things to keep in check. Although they are the physical aspect to keeping your home safe, there is a social aspect that contributes to the safety of your home as well. That is your presence on social media.
While it has been written about many times, it is worth repeating. Take extra precautions with your social media presence while planning and going on a vacation. Do not post vacation plans on social media sites. Before you leave, it is a good idea to review your tagging settings to ensure that if someone in your travel group tags you in a photo it doesn’t appear on your home page, announcing to the world (and burglars) that you are on vacation.1 It is also recommended that you don’t “check-in” at various destinations while on vacation as that will also alert thieves that you are far from home.
The most important aspect of vacations and social media posts is that you wait until you are home to post your photos and that you make sure that those traveling with your, like your teenage children, also pay attention to social media safety precautions while on vacation.
Neighbors Can Help
Enlist a friend or neighbor to check on your home while you are away. If you can get a neighbor to park in your driveway, that is even better. Let your neighbors know that you are planning to be gone and how to get in touch with you if they need to do so. Let them know if someone will be stopping by your home to feed the cat or water the plants so they won’t call the police on your helpful friend or cat sitter.2
If you are going to be gone for more than a week, you may want to notify your local police. If you have a security system, provide the police and the security company with the name and phone number of a person locally that you have entrusted with the security code and a house key or the code to access your home.3
Stop the mail with the U.S. Post Office by going to their website and accessing the “Quick Links” tab and then “Hold Mail”.4 With this easy online service you can stop your mail for the length of time you are gone and either have the postal employee deliver the mail the day you get home or you can specify that you will pick the mail up at the post office.
Don’t leave your garbage cans out at the street. Have a neighbor take them in instead. Remember to stop the newspaper delivery and don’t do any online shopping that will be delivered during your time away. If a package can’t be held, have a neighbor check your porch and remove any packages promptly.
While it is tempting to close your curtains, it is also a visual alert that no one is home when curtains which are normally open all day are closed every day for two weeks. Remove any high dollar items, such as computers or big screen televisions, from being easily seen through a window. This is actually a good idea whether you are on vacation or not. Store any smaller valuables in a home safe that has been secured by a professional locksmith so that it can’t easily be removed from your home.
Keep exterior and interior lights on only when it’s dark. A porchlight on all day long is a sure sign that no one is home. Set interior lights on timers and, if possible, have lights go on and off in different rooms throughout the evening rather than one light going on and then turning off at the same time each night. Unplug all appliances before leaving home to protect against power surges and to save electricity.
Don’t forget to check that all doors and windows are locked when you leave, making sure the garage door is secured and that the door from the garage to your home is locked.5 Remove the spare key that is hidden under the planter by the door.
These simple actions can go a long way in preventing your home from being burglarized. If you are unsure about your home’s security, contact a licensed, professional locksmith who will be able to provide advice on additional measures you can take to make your home as safe as possible and your vacation as worry-free as possible.
As a professional, family owned locksmith business for ore than 30 years, Action Locksmith continues to keep the residents of Michigan safe and secure in their homes and business with the latest services a modern locksmith has to offer.
We specialize and have experience in all areas of locksmithing from rekeying to master key systems as well as door repair, lockouts, servicing antique locks, safes and much more. Call and speak to a locksmith specialist today!