Summertime and the Burglarizing is Easy: Protect Your Home While on Vacation
It is summertime, and the vacation season is in high gear. But AAA reminds us it is also the hot season for home break-ins while you're away.
"Make sure that your home looks, inhabited," says Tracy Noble of AAA/Mid-Atlantic.
Noble says that means canceling newspaper and mail deliveries and using timers for lights.
"First and foremost, make sure that your house is securely locked up. That means to check all of your windows, make sure that your deadbolt locks are in place. And if you have an alarm system, make sure that that is activated."
AAA also suggests putting your television on a timer, turning it on at night so that it looks like people are home.
And don't "blab" on social media while you're "sunning and funning." Noble says "save the pictures and the posts until after you have returned."
She says in today's social media frenzy, lots of people like to document their vacation, and continuously post about their vacation, upload pictures and photos. This is a telltale sign that you are away, especially if it is from a cruise ship or a tropical destination. Would-be burglars know that you will not be home in the near future.
And Noble says it is a good idea to alert friends that you trust, and neighbors that you are comfortable with, to the fact that you are not going to be home and give them your contact information. That way they can look out for your house, and if they need to, they can contact you in case of an emergency.
If you are going to be gone for an extended period of time, pay someone to mow your lawn, so that it doesn't look like the home as been empty for a while.
It's also a good idea to inventory your home by making a list or taking pictures so that you know what's missing when you return.
And you can purchase some low-cost security cameras that will then feed to your smartphone, so that you can monitor your home, both inside and out, while you are away.
"Those are relatively low dollar if you cannot afford a professional security system," Noble says.