Planning for home safety while traveling is hardly the most thrilling thing -- but as far as preventative measures go , a little bit goes a long way. Here's what to do.
It looks safe and sound -- but did the owners take all the precautions? Photo: Ryan McVay, Getty.
In the craziness of planning for our holiday travel and vacations, we often forget to take the necessary steps to safeguard our home from intruders. It's not necessary to have a home security system such as a home alarm or security camera, although those types of precautions are a great deterrent. Here are some tips for homeowners who don't have home security systems but want some piece of mind before locking up.
1. Talk to your neighbors
It's always good to get to know your neighbors as it not only provides another set of eyes throughout the year that can watch over your property, it's also great to build your community. Before traveling, let a neighbor you trust know that you will be away and ask them to keep an eye on your property. That may mean taking out and bringing in the garbage, checking the mail, grabbing the newspaper and safekeeping packages that are delivered in your absence. If you don't have a neighbor you trust, talk to a friend or family member who can stop by.
2. Put your lights on a timer
This is a simple but necessary tip. Most robbers will "case" a target before making a move and a home that looks empty is a prime target. It's not necessary to keep a light on in a main room but rather an upstairs or side room that isn't easy to see from the street or yard. If you can set timers in different rooms for different times that's even better.
3. Close your shades
Use your window treatments to cover your windows so it's not easy for robbers to peek in. Without drapes someone can see into your home from a car in the street but with light window coverings it's not so easy.
4. Lock everything
Double check that all doors and windows are closed and secure. Use a wood dowel to secure sliding glass doors. Close up doggy doors. Lock outside gates and interior doors such as one from the garage. You've quickly and easily deterred lazy burglars.
5. Clear your yard of clutter
Make sure all leaves are picked up and your lawn is freshly mowed before you leave. It's another way to signal your occupancy.