An empty house or apartment is a tempting target for criminals, especially when owners are on vacation. While this is an alarming concept to grasp while you are basking on a Caribbean beach, it is imperative that every traveler takes certain key steps to keep his or her home safe and sound while away for business or pleasure. Basic preventative measures can help ensure you home invasions and enjoy your time exploring.
Ask a Friend to Help
A simple way to gain peace of mind while traveling is to ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your house while you’re away. Ideally this person should visit your home once per day to take in the mail and newspapers and tend to the property where needed, for example mow the lawn. This person can also check the pipes.
Don’t Tip Off Criminals
In this ever-increasing social world, where we provide constant updates on sites like Facebook and Twitter, it’s important to consider exactly who is reading your posts. The anonymity of the Internet can encourage many to share personal information without fully realizing the extent of their reach. While many would hesitate announcing their vacation plans to a large, crowded room, they don’t think twice about posting detailed vacation plans on social media. Realize that total strangers have access to information made public on the internet.
Notify the proper authorities
Inform the police, the bank, and if applicable, your local neighborhood watch program if you will be gone for an extended period of time. The police and the watch program members can check on your house periodically during their patrols. It’s also important that the bank is aware of your upcoming travels so that they don’t freeze your cards due to suspicious activity.
Secure your home
Take extra precautions to protect your home. Remove hidden outdoor keys and lock all windows and doors. Turn off the garage door so that an intruder can’t access it with a remote. Leave the curtains just as you would while you’re at home. Use light timers and set the lights to turn on and off, maintaining a similar schedule that you keep when you are home.