First – start by creating the illusion that somebody is actually still home!
You can achieve this by:
- Setting your lights on timers to be set on/off at different times in different rooms
- Set your radio, sounds system or television to turn on and off; creating the sound of someone at home
- Leave a car in the driveway – have someone move it from side to side occasionally (close family member, friend or neighbor)
- If you normally leave a few toys around or hose uncoiled in the yard – do so. The idea is to look like things are as normal!
- Curtains Closed — or Open? You may think closing your curtains will prevent people from peering inside your home. However, closed curtains also stop those who aim to help — the police, your neighbors or friends — from seeing inside your house. So, what should you do? Leave your curtains exactly as you usually keep them when you are at home. Remember – you want to create the illusion that things are normal. You should never leave expensive items, like jewelry or computers, out where they are visible from the window.
- Arrange to have your landscape trimmed. Nothing signals “not home” stronger than an unkempt yard, especially one that is normally regularly manicured.
Run by the post office (or do it on-line) and cancel your mail and newspaper deliveries. Or ask a trusted friend or neighbor to collect them for you while away.
Stow away your valuables and important papers. Lock up any valuable jewelry, deed to your home, title to your cars and small electronic devices. Things that are relatively small and easily transported are the main target of thieves. They want to get in and out fast, carrying as many valuables as possible. If you don’t have a safety deposit box, store these types of items in a fireproof lock box. Great places to put the lockbox are in children’s bed or playrooms, laundry room, garage or kitchen. Thieves will always look in master bedrooms and living spaces where adults hang out.
Remove Your Spare Key(s) That plastic rock, above the door-frame, under a mat/flowerpot isn’t fooling anyone. If a criminal figures out you’re away on vacation, it’s likely that (s)he will first check your porch and obvious locations for a spare key.
Don’t announce you are leaving or your whereabouts right before or during your vacation via Social Media. Many of us enjoy keeping up with friends and family via social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The perceived anonymity of the Internet can encourage us to share personal information without fully realizing that there could be complete strangers viewing our daily musings. So try to refrain from posting those pre-vacation thoughts and plans and hold off posting pictures and statements showing you at fun or exotic location away from home until later. In addition, be careful what you say on your home, home office answer machine, voice mail or auto email response. People trying to reach you don’t need to know that you’re out of town — they just need to know that you can’t respond right now.
For the highest level of assurance – Alert Your:
- Home Security Company – Double check that your door and window alarms are activated before you leave. Also, leave a house key and the code with someone you trust and provide the police and alarm company with their name and phone number.
- The local Police – Call the non-emergency number and let them know of your vacation timing. Often times they will send a patrol car by you home occasionally to inspect the property for abnormalities. Leave them a number where you – or someone you trust – can be reached.
Right before leaving – to save yourself and the environment – Pull the Plug! Disconnecting the power to electronics, like computers, routers, televisions, and other appliances can save you money while you’re gone and eliminate the worry. Turning off your garage door opener is also an effective way to keep thieves from opening it with a universal remote. Finally, never leave a portable GPS in your car when parking at the airport. It’ll alert thieves that you’re not home and give them a convenient map to your house.
We at Secur-Tek wish you and you families a safe and worry-free vacation holiday!