Summer is here and if you’re like us, you’re itching to pack up the car and ship off on your next summer vacation. But while you’re making your plans, don’t forget to think about how you can keep your home secure while you’re away. According to a recent study, there are roughly 2.5 million burglaries each year, and 66% of those are home break-ins. Unfortunately, break-ins can happen to anyone — just ask Gronk, whose home was robbed while he was away at the Superbowl earlier this year. While you can’t always predict when something like this will happen, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk. Here are 5 tips to help you protect your home while you’re away.
Make sure everything is locked up. You probably locked your front door, but it’s a good idea to take some extra time to double check all access points before you leave. For example, is there a window that you always leave open? This could be an easy entry point for burglars. Make sure that all windows and doors in both your home and garage are locked and secure. If your family keeps a spare key outside of your home, bring it inside while you are away. One of the first things that burglars look for is a spare key hidden under welcome mats, flower pots or in window boxes.
Create the illusion of being home using light. Set timers on all of your indoor lighting fixtures so that from the outside, it will seem like someone is home. Burglars look for houses that appear unoccupied at night, so it’s a good idea to create a unique pattern with your lights to give the impression that someone is traveling between rooms. Installing motion sensor lights outside of your home is another great security measure that can deter unwanted visitors.
Don’t forget about the little things. If you’re traveling for more than two weeks, your unoccupied home might start to give itself away to intruders, but luckily there are several easy precautions that you can take to make it seem like you never even left. Pause your mail delivery or ask a friend to collect your mail for you. An overflowing mailbox or a large stack of newspapers on your front porch are dead giveaways for a home intruder. If you’ll be gone for even longer than two weeks, it may be smart to schedule a lawn service so that your yard doesn’t become overgrown, another indicator that your house is vacant.
Ask a friend for help. Let a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor know that you will be gone so that they can periodically drop by your house and check in to make sure that everything is safe. You could also ask a friend or neighbor to park their car in your driveway a few nights a week. A reappearing car is a sign that your home is occupied, which can help scare off any potential burglars.
Spread the word, but not to everyone. Before you depart, it’s a good idea to alert your credit card company or bank that you’ll be traveling. Your financial accounts are constantly being monitored for spending that seems out of place and can be locked down if there is potentially fraudulent activity. Being shut out of your wallet isn’t ideal when you’re traveling in another country, so always remember to communicate your plans with your credit card company before you leave. If you have a security system installed in your home, you should also reach out to your security company to let them know of your travel plans and to make sure that your alarm is properly set for your departure.
You should also share your itinerary with family and close friends. This way, if an emergency were to happen along the course of your trip, your loved ones would be able to locate you and trace your steps. However, not all information needs to be shared with everyone. You should avoid posting about your trip in excess on social media — sharing details like the dates you’ll be away on a public profile can lead thieves straight to your home and your valuables.
We know planning a vacation can be stressful, and we want to help! If you have any other questions about travel safety, please don’t hesitate to ask — our trusted team of dedicated agents at Cushman Insurance Group are always available to talk and to help you make the right choice, because we’re here to make your life easier.
Call a Cushman Insurance Group agent today at 800-356-5151 or visit us online to learn more: http://bit.ly/2JlrZWW