Monday, December 1, 2008

Away for the Holidays? Protect your Home

If you are planing to go out of town for the holidays, here are some good tips to protect your home...

A burglary occurs every 15 seconds in America, according to the FBI’s Crime in the United States Report. A majority of these crimes take place in the summer months when many homeowners are on vacation. Follow these steps to protect your home while you’re away, so you can rest easy and enjoy your vacation.

Find a friend or relative to house-sit. This is the best option. Having someone in your home is the best way to deter potential thieves. Just be sure that it is someone you trust, and who is familiar and comfortable with your home.

Lock all doors and windows. If a house sitter is not a possibility, the first and most important step to securing your home is to lock every door and window in the house. Don’t forget about small attic or basement windows. Also secure the garage door and any garage windows.

Use timers on your lights. Automatic timers simulate occupancy by turning lights and other appliances (i.e. televisions or radios) on and off at random intervals during the day and evening. These are available at most hardware stores and cost approximately $20.

Don’t close all your drapes. It sounds like bad advice, but drapes that are closed shut during daylight hours are a sure sign to potential burglars that you’re not home. It also allows them to move around your home unseen after they enter.

Rely on your neighbors. Make sure that you find someone to pick up your mail while you’re away. If you’re going to be gone more than a week, find someone to mow your lawn. Also, be sure to give a trusted neighbor a key to your home and your itinerary in case of emergency

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