It is that time of year again…summer time! If you are planning to have a family vacation while the kids are out of school for summer vacation below are some useful tips to follow to ensure your home is secure while you are away.
- Avoid sharing your vacation plans online via Facebook or Twitter unless your profile is set to be viewed by only close friends and relatives you may want to avoid a status update giving any specifics of your plans.
- If you have family that lives close to you, you should ask them to periodically stop over while you are gone to check on the home. Make sure they have an extra key, keep from placing your spare key in various places around your home, such as under the front or back door may, in your mailbox, under a flowerpot, etc. as these are often the places checked first by criminals. If you do not have family near by then you could entrust your key to a close family friend or neighbor.
- Setting your lights up on a timer is another great way to deter criminals from trying to break into your home. My husband was able to set this up via remote through out the house. I personally love this feature it makes me feel like we are taking to the next level. Most of them make it possible for you can have it set to turn your lights on and off at different times of the day. Some will even make it so you can choose random times.
- Do a key check with any friends or family members that may have an extra key to your home. Have any of them lost or misplaced their key? If so, even if you still have the key to your home you should consider having your locks replaced. Check your insurance policy as some will not cover burglaries if it was done with a stolen key. Another way to avoid this is to simply have your spare key returned to you when you get back so you have control of your keys when you are in town.
- Place all of you important papers and valuables in a fire safe lock box. A close family friend learned to use a fire safe lock box the hard way when a fire broke out in her home and even thought her paperwork was in a lock box it was not fire safe. If you have some items that will not fit into your safe be sure to mark them, this will help in identifying your items to law enforcement. It is also good to take pictures of your valuable items and be sure to include a picture of the special mark you made on your item. This also helps when placing a claim with your insurance company and may help to recoup some of what you lost. It will also help if you write down serial numbers of electronics, what I have done is keep a file box with all of my manuals, CD’s, receipts and even tear off a part of the box with the serial and model number on it.
- If family or neighbors are not able to check your mail you could also opt for having your mail redirected if you are planning on being out of town for an extended period of time. Being in Florida we have several snow birds coming and going throughout the season. If your away and your mail continues to pile up this will tell those looking to find a house to rob will look at this and realize your not home. The same goes for your newspaper service, let them know that you are going on vacation and have them hold the service. When it comes to mail you will want to give them at least a week ahead of time.
- Your home does not have a have the biggest and best alarm system out there but as long as you have insurance and an alarm in one form or another. It is recommended you have a professional company come in an get your home security system set up by a professional. There are some home security systems that are easy to install yourself if you have some knowledge of wiring and electrical work. You may also wish to install some motion sensor lights around your home, this will also help to deter some one from entering your home. If you do decide to go with a home security system be sure that you let any family, friends and/or neighbors know the password to to turn off the system when they stop by to check on the house for you. If you feel it is necessary, you can change the code once you get back home. Some alarm systems will even alert you via your mobile device if something goes wrong.
Do you have any home security tips to share?