Now that summer is just around the corner, many of us will be planning a getaway, whether it’s for a few days or a longer vacation. The location is chosen and the hotel is booked… but have you thought about what to do to make sure your home is safe while you’re gone? Break-ins are the biggest concern, and the best way to minimize that risk is to make sure that breaking into your home is way more trouble than it’s worth.
If it looks like someone is at home, most likely they won’t even try:
- Ask your neighbour to park his car in your driveway and use your garbage cans
- Stop mail & newspaper delivery or ask your neighbour to pick it up for you
- If you have a garage, keep the car in the garage with the door closed while you are loading your luggage
- Have lamps & radios connected to multiple timers that match your usual routine
- If you still have a land-line telephone, set the ringer to the lowest possible volume
- Wherever valuable items can be seen from outside, close the blinds or curtains
- Don’t tell all your friends & neighbours and, for heaven’s sake, don’t post your vacation plans on Facebook!
About one third of the time, burglars get in through an open window, easily jimmied door, garage or a basement window:
- Remove ladders, trash cans, or anything else that could be used as a ‘leg up’
- Trim trees & shrubs that conceal windows and entrances
- Install motion detector lights at strategic locations such as entrances and pathways
- Install single cylinder deadbolt locks on all entrance doors
- Install ‘window stops’ on all main floor and basement windows, so even if the burglar gets past the lock they still can’t open the window. The piece of wood at the bottom of sliding door track is the obvious example. Get creative.
- Don’t hide your house key in an obvious location such as under the welcome mat or a flower pot
- Keep your garage door closed and locked even when your car isn’t inside
- Display your alarm company’s card prominently in windows & entrances
It’s worth taking a bit of extra time to attend to these simple preventive measures to give you a bit more peace of mind on your vacation.