December 30th, 2013
The holidays are a great opportunity for families to get together and visit each other, and millions of Americans go on vacation during this time every year. Unfortunately, when homeowners go on vacation, they often leave their properties open to theft and damage. If you're going away this holiday season, be sure to take a few of these security measures to protect your home and belongings:
Check your homeowners insurance
If you own a home, you may already be aware that having homeowners insurance is the best way to protect your property and possessions. Not only would they be covered if your home becomes damaged from weather or fire, you can also find a policy that covers theft. Without homeowners insurance, you could be left on your own financially in the case of a burglary. Even if you don't think you own expensive or valuable items, it could be tough to replace everything on your own.
Ask the neighbors
One of the biggest benefits of living in a community is your neighbors. When you go on vacation or are leaving your house for a few days, ask neighbors to keep a look out for unusual activity. As residents, they are used to the sounds and sights on your street, so they might be the first to spot something unusual.
Lock doors and windows
This may seem obvious, but many homeowners will forget to lock all the doors and windows in their home, giving thieves an entry point into their home. Be sure not to give thieves an easy opportunity to break in by spending a few minutes to check over every door and window before you leave. This extra once-over might save some of your belongings.
Keep up appearances
There are a couple tell-tale signs that thieves will look for when scouting out a home to burglarize. One of them includes messy hedges and uncut grass. This is an indicator that someone hasn't been home in a while. To avoid sending out this signal, hire someone to cut the grass or rake the leaves while you are away. You should also ask a neighbor to hold onto your mail while you are away, to avoid the appearance of a big stack of a week's worth of bills and letters. You can also call the post office to hold your mail.
Set the alarm, tell the police
If you are going away for a while, your best defense is your home alarm system. If you already have an alarm system in place, be sure that you set it when you leave. Letting the police know you won't be home can alert them to a burglary if the alarm is set off while you're gone. If you don't have an alarm system, consider investing in one or putting a sticker in your front window displaying the name of a security system. Even the appearance of an alarm system could deter thieves from attempting to break in.