Nearly 1.8 million burglaries took place in the U.S. in 2014, resulting in almost $4 billion in property losses, according to the latest statistics from the FBI. The vast majority of those burglaries occurred in homes when the residents were out – either at work or, commonly, on vacation. In fact, while most of us consider summer to be a time of vacations and relaxed work schedules, for burglars, it’s the busiest time of the year. That’s because they know many people take at least one vacation during the summer, leaving a lot of empty and often poorly secured homes. If you’re planning a summer getaway, follow these tips to keep your home and your possessions safe while you’re away:
Keep your plans to yourself.
One of the best ways to make sure your home stays safe when you’re on vacation this summer is to avoid posting about your plans online. Statistics show professional burglars make it a regular habit to surf the internet, looking for posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms providing detailed information about upcoming vacation plans.
Invest in a security system.
There was a time when owning a security system meant a huge financial outlay and large, ongoing fees to keep it up and running. But all that’s changed, and today’s systems are much more affordable, making them well within the reach of even modest budgets. Plus, many systems offer cameras that enable you to keep an eye on your property from anywhere there’s an internet connection, and you can even control your lights and other appliances right from your smart phone or tablet.
Recruit your neighbors (assuming they’re trustworthy).
Obviously, your neighbors can keep an eye on your home while you’re away, calling the police if anything unusual happens. But they can also bring in mail or flyers left on your doorstep, and they might even have an extra car they can keep parked in your driveway so it looks like someone is home.
Use timers – judiciously.
If you don’t have a remote security system, you can still turn lights on and off using timers. Set them to turn lights on in different areas of your home at different times of the day to avoid having all the lights turn on at once, which can be a pretty clear indication timers are in use.
Check your locks.
Before leaving on vacation, make sure all your locks work, including the ones on your garage door and windows. Invest in a special locking bar for sliding doors as well.
One more tip: Before leaving on vacation, make sure your homeowners policy is up to date and offers the coverage you need to keep all your valuables protected. No one likes to think about being the victim of a burglary, but in the end, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. To have your own policy reviewed, call Basi Insurance Services today.