Friday, October 28, 2016 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

7 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe When on the Road


Summer is here again and it is time that you had some fun on vacation. You are not the only one enjoying the vacation; someone might be targeting your home while you’re away. You do not want to come home after vacation and find your home vandalized. Here are a few tips to keep your home safe when you are on the road.


1.    Get an alarm system

Install an effective home alarm system that has pronounced signage to ensure that you are protected. Over 2 million home burglaries are reported in the U. S. each year and, thats nearly 6,000 per day. The main potential deterrent to home burglaries is a home security system, which, according to statistics, has a dramatic effect on whether or not a burglary will be successful.
Despite the fear of break-ins, only 15% of U.S. residents have an alarm system installed in their homes. With crime rates on the increase a security system might be the best place to start.


2.    Inform your neighbors

Tell your close neighbors and friends that you will not be around and request them to keep an eye on your property. Ensure that you have given them a number to call to you and the police should they see anything unusual at your house. Give the person a key so that they can feed your pets, check the mail, water your plants, etc. If you park your car on the street, you may also want to give this person a key to your car, you never know when your vehicle may need to be moved due to an emergency. You may also want to consider joining your local Neighborhood watch. This allows anyone who notices anything odd about your home to notify you, even if you haven’t asked them to keep an eye on things.


3.    Consider hiring a house sitter This is someone that will be left in the house to keep watch over everything at home when you are away. The house sitter does not have to sleep at the house. He or she can visit the home once or twice a day, water the plants, feed the pets, and move around. Some potential burglars will not attempt to rob the house if they find that it is occupied. Start with someone you know, try a friend or a family member, but if they can’t help out, you could hire a professional house sitter. There are some great services that offer to match you with a house sitter, such as,, or

4.    Leave someone in charge

If you fail to get a house sitter around, consider getting a person to act as your emergency captain. The emergency captain should have your contacts and should know what to report to you and the police or actions that he or she can take in case of a disaster. He could just report if anything happens to your belongings and the property but can also tell you if there is a problem in the neighborhood such as fire, flooding, theft and so forth.

5.    Put your mail on hold

If you are going to take a while away from your home, request that the post office keep your mail on hold till you come back. The mail is a big giveaway if it remains pilled on the doorstep or arrange to have a friend or neighbor pick up your mail while you’re away.  It’s easy to put your mail on hold at
6.    Don’t make your house look unoccupied

Make it look as if you are still around. Most burglars don’t want to chance running into the homeowner. When traveling, just leave most of the things the way they usually are when you are around. If you love placing your shoes by the doorway, have a pair out there so that you do not give cues to someone that might be watching that you are not around. Timers on lights can also give the impression that someone’s at home. Before you leave for your holiday, you might decide to close your curtains. However, closed curtains might also stop the the police or neighbors from seeing inside your house. So what’s your best option? Leave your curtains as you usually do when you’re home, noticeable changes could hint that you’re not around at the moment — especially if your curtains are left closed for 10 days.

7.    Don’t publicize your absence on Social Media

Save all those social media brags until after you come back. Someone may be following closely and realize that you are not around. Post vacation brags also revive the spirit of the vacation! Would you announce to a bunch of people that you will be leaving your house unattended for 10 days this July? If not, then you should think twice about posting your future holiday plans on social media. Be careful what message you leave on your voice mail too.

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