Keep Your Home Protected While On Vacation

Feb 17, 2011

By Staff writer State Farm™ Employee

Youíve packed up your suitcase and planned your itinerary, but before you leave for vacation, take the time to protect your home while youíre away. July and August are popular vacation months, and not surprisingly, theyíre also the months when home burglaries peak. To fully enjoy your trip, plan appropriate home security and maintenance with this checklist.

Inside The House

Set timers on interior lights: This goes a long way in deterring burglars, who often look for crimes of opportunity. Donít allow your house to appear as if no one is home.

Prevent power surges: You never know if a power surge can occur, so be prepared. Disconnect the computer, TV, stereo, and other electronics, or make sure they are plugged safely into a surge protector.

No status updates: Never broadcast your location on Facebook or Twitter. Even if you think that itís only your friends or colleagues viewing your online profiles, itís safest not to leave any sort of opening for a possible burglar.

Alert alarm company: If you have an automatic security system in place, call your representative, announcing youíll be away from home for an extended period of time. Make sure the alarm is set properly when you leave.

Secure valuables: If you donít already have your jewelry or other valuables in a safe deposit box, now might be the time to do so. Doing this also ensures that you donít leave out anything valuable in plain sight that a burglar might be able to see from a window.

HVAC: Set a programmable thermostat to lower your heat or air conditioning usage.

Protect your pipes: Make sure pipes in vulnerable areas such as attics, basements, and crawlspaces are insulated. In unusually cold weather, set your thermostat at 55 degrees or above. Ask a neighbor or trusted friend to stop by and check on the house and periodically turn on the faucets to ensure the pipes donít freeze.

Lock all doors and windows: It might seem obvious, but double-check just to be sure.

Outside The House

Arrange for lawn care: Have your landscaping tended to by a friendly neighbor or local service. Before you leave, trim tree branches that might allow access to a climbing burglar.

Newspaper and mail: Stop mail and newspaper deliveries, or have them regularly picked up by a neighbor. Again, you donít want to easily clue in a burglar to your absence by the mounting newspapers on your doorstep.

Exterior lighting: Set these lights on timers as well, to deter burglars.

Donít leave spare keys outdoors: Collect any hidden spare keys from around the exterior of your home. Remember, burglars know the most popular hiding places, like beneath mats and in potted plants.

Lock up garage: Even if there is no entrance to your house from the garage, thereís still a chance for numerous things to be stolen. Secure the door and any entrances to the garage.

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