You have probably spent a great deal of time planning your vacation. You have researched hotels, you found the best price on airfare, you arranged a rental car and you might have even planned out an itinerary. There is one important detail that you have probably forgotten. Have you planned for the security of your home while you are gone. Empty houses are a magnet for thieves. If you would like to make sure that everything is still in your home when you get back, there are some steps that should be taken.
Make Your Home Look Lived In
The most important thing that you can do to keep your home safe is to make it look like you never left. Don't leave obvious signs that you are on vacation. Have a friend or a neighbor come by and pick up newspapers, mail and door flyers. Also leave some lights on inside your home. Nothing says this house is empty than a house with no lights on. You can buy timers relatively cheaply these days. Buy a couple of timers and program lights.
TVs' and radios to come on at usual times. Avoid leaving answering machine messages saying that you are on vacation. Also check your voice mail occasionally to keep your mail box from filling up. It wouldn't be hard for a burglar to do a reverse search on your address and get your phone number. Lastly, if you plan on being gone for a long period arrange for someone to cut your lawn
Make Your Home Physically Secure
Make a thorough security sweep of your home. Check all windows, door locks and deadbolts. Do not assume that a criminal could not enter that third story window. If you keep spare keys outside of your home, do not leave them in obvious locations. Keys located under flower pots, under door mats or even in cheap artificial rocks are not secure. Also be sure that you call your alarm company if you have one. Tell them you will be on vacation and give them a contact number for a friend or neighbor.
Prepare To Be Robbed
No matter how many precautions you take, you could still be robbed. Prepare for the worst by making an inventory of all of your valuables. It will be a big help when you need to settle up with your insurance company. If you have a camcorder or can borrow one, take a video inventory. Store the tape in a safe place such as a safe deposit box. If you have large valuables, etch your drivers license number into them. It will make them much easier to identify if they wind up at a local pawn shop. Nobody expects to be a victim of crime, but it does happen. By taking a little time to protect your home you can greatly reduce your chances of being a victim or make it easier to recover from a burglary.
Over to You
What do you think about our tips on preparing your home for a vacation? Do you have some thoughts to add?
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