It’s June . . . so let the summer vacations begin. If you’re going on a trip this summer, whether you’re leaving the state or planning a vacation right here in Colorful Colorado, now is a great time to touch on some ways to keep your house safe while you’re away. After all, the summer months of July and August experience the highest number of home burglaries. So to help you protect your home and valuables this summer, here are some simple security tips.
Consider a house sitter. If you have pets, rather than packing them off to a kennel, why not hire someone to stay at your house while you’re away? Your pets will be comfortable, and you will have someone in your house, making it looked lived in, which will be a deterrent to would-be thieves.
Put a few lights on timers. If you can’t line up a house sitter, or don’t want one, make sure a few lights are on timers. Timers are not expensive, and setting the lights to go on and off will make your home look lived in.
Set up a motion detector light. Making sure the outside of your home is well lit can also discourage thieves. It’s much more difficult to break into a well-lit house than it is to sneak into the window of a dark house. A motion detector light will not waste electricity, and it will light up the outside of your home when someone approaches.
Make plans for your mail and newspaper. Nothing screams “vacant house” more than a mailbox full of mail and a pile of papers in the drive-way. It’s best if you can find a trusted neighbor to pick up your mail and paper. If that’s not an option, call the newspaper to cancel delivery while you’re gone. Also, fill out a form to have the post office hold your mail.
Check windows and doors. An amazing statistic is that 34% of burglars enter the home through the front door by either using an unlocked door, or kicking it in. Always check that your doors and windows are locked–even when you’re home.
The morning you’re leaving on vacation, do a sweep through the house, making sure all windows and doors are closed and locked. Don’t forget to check any side door leading in through the garage.
Let a neighbor know your travel plans. They can keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.
Leave your cell phone number with someone. Hopefully, you’ve taken enough precautions that nothing happens while you’re away. But if there is an emergency with your home, make sure someone knows where to get in touch with you.
Here’s one more “factoid” about home burglaries: burglars usually go to the master bedroom first. With this piece of knowledge, even if your home is wired with a security system, after entering the home, a burglar can make a beeline to your bedroom, grab your jewelry and be long gone by the time the police arrive. Consider storing valuables in a safe that’s bolted to the floor, or hide them in unlikely locations. Here’s a good article filled with tips for hiding places: