Safeguarding Your Home While on Vacation

The FBI estimates a burglary will take place nearly every 14 seconds in the United States. In 2007, there were 2,179,140 burglaries nationwide, with most occurring during daytime hours despite conventional belief about nighttime robberies. When your home is vacant, it is very attractive to a thief that wants to slip in and out without causing much ruckus. If your home appears to be unoccupied, it might be a prime target for those who would steal from you. It is hard to avoid the appearance of a vacant home when you will be away on vacation for an extended period of time, but we have compiled a list of things you can do to try and deter potential break-ins. Consider practicing the following advice before leaving on your much-deserved trip:

  1. Install automatic timers on interior lights and lamps, in addition to patio and other outdoor lights.
  2. If you still use a landline, have your calls forwarded to your cell phone. This will deter thefts from calling your home number to see if you are away.
  3. Ask one of your neighbors to be on mail and paper duty. A porch full of newspapers and bulk mail is a sure sign the place is unoccupied at the moment. See if you can have a neighbor you trust take in your papers and mail while you are away.
  4. Continue your landscaping/snow removal services. The best thing you can do is maintain the appearance that you are still home. If you keep your yard maintained while you are gone, this will make it look less obvious that you are away.
  5. Don't forget about the trash cans. Ask a trusted neighbor if he or she could bring your trash and recycling containers to the curb and return them on schedule pickup days. Additionally, you could ask them to use yours while you are away as empty containers might be a sign to burglars that you are gone.
  6. Consider installing motorized drape controllers. You can purchase a device that will automatically open and close your curtains for you while you are away to give the appearance that you are home. If you leave your blinds constantly open or closed while you are gone, it can be an indicator nobody is home.
  7. Inform your neighbor. . It can be a little difficult in bedroom communities, but if you have a neighbor you trust, it is a good idea to inform him or her that you will be away on a trip.
  8. Inform the police you will be gone. It doesn't hurt to check with your local police department to see if they would be able to send a patrol car by once or twice while you are gone to keep tabs on the place.
  9. Keep the entertainment going. Similar to your blinds, you can buy an automatic control for your television and radio for them to sporadically turn on throughout the day and night. This is a simple but effective way to give the appearance that you are still home.
  10. Turn the ringers off. If you have a loud ringer or answering machine, this could make it obvious nobody is home. Simply turn the volume down on both before you leave.