When you're away from home for an extended period of time, your house can be more vulnerable to intruders. But there are steps you can take before being away, that will help make your home a less likely target for thieves or intruders.

Basic security tips

These basic, yet prudent, home security measures offer some degree of protection for you and your home:

Be mindful of social media posts. 
If you're traveling for vacation, it's natural to be excited. But when you share these things on social media, you're letting other people know your house will be unoccupied on certain dates. It's always best to share details and photos about your vacation after you return.

Have the post office hold your mail. 
The service is free and helps you avoid the tell-tale signs that no one has picked up the mail for several days.

Stop your newspaper delivery. 
Alternatively, ask a neighbor to pick up your paper daily and check for flyers left on your doorknob.

Remove your spare key. 
If criminals know you're going to be out of town, they know they have time to search around for spare key hiding spots. Remove the key before heading out so that there is nothing for them to find.

Install a monitored alarm system. 
You should also notify your alarm company if you are leaving town, so they can notify the police on your behalf if the alarm trips. Then, make sure all doors and windows are armed before leaving.

Make sure you have a service, friend or neighbor to mow your lawn or shovel your walks. 
If your lawn suddenly grows shaggy or your walks become covered in snow or ice while you're away, it can signal that no one is home. Hiring a service to do these tasks in your absence gives the appearance that someone is home taking care of these chores.

Don't input your home address in your portable or car GPS. 
If your car is parked at the airport or hotel and it gets stolen, it provides a convenient turn-by-turn direction to your unoccupied home.

The more occupied your home appears, the less attractive it will be as a target to criminals.

Basic home precautions to take

In addition to the tips mentioned above, there are certain precautions you may want to take with your home, including these.

  • Set your lights to turn off and on automatically.
  • Lock your garage.
  • Unplug unnecessary appliances and electronics (to protect from power surges).
  • Turn down/up heating and cooling as is appropriate for the season.
  • Protect pipes from freezing in winter.
  • Ask a trusted friend to check on your home while you’re away.
  • Join your local neighborhood watch group, if applicable.

Some extra vigilance can make a huge difference when it comes to the safety and security of your home and belongings. These simple steps and advice will help you have one less thing to worry about while you’re away.

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