Jun 2011 27

Secure Your House When You’re Away for a Longer Time

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Photo by Jerry7171 Photo by Jerry

What’s your favourite part of the year? For me, it’s going on vacation. If everything goes well, you come back relaxed, without any worries, ready to work again. However, the return home can quickly turn sour. You don’t want to return to a house that’s been robbed. It’s very tempting for burglars to target an empty house. Here are some precautions that might help you prevent them from thinking the house is empty and unguarded.

A House-sitter Is a Necessity

The most important thing to do when you’re leaving your house is to not leave it unattended. This means you have to ask somebody to keep an eye on your house for you. The most suitable person is probably your neighbour since he lives just next door and he can check on your house at any time. If your neighbour isn’t willing to watch your house, you can ask a family member; however, you can wind up with your cousin living in your house instead of guarding it!

You should also hire someone to mow your lawn, as well as water it. An unattended lawn and yard is one of the hints for burglars that you’re not home. It’s better to ask somebody from your neighbourhood to do the job. This way, you’ll avoid advertising that you’re not at home.

Don’t Advertise Your Absence

A World without Words by Cristian V A World without Words by Cristian V

It’s best to tell as few people as possible that you’re leaving on vacation. This way, you’ll prevent the information from getting to the wrong people. It’s enough to just tell your neighbour and the person watching your house while you’re away. Don’t put it on your answering machine! It’s very easy to check your presence in the house that way. Announcing your absence on Twitter might also be unwise — burglars are very inventive these days.

The Mail and Lights Problem

Mail by Bogdan Suditu Mail by Bogdan Suditu

To create the illusion of an occupied house, you should think about lights inside and outside as well. You can simply put the lights on a timer so everybody will think that you’re at home while you’re enjoying sandy beaches or beautiful mountains elsewhere. You should also put the lights outside on motion detectors to make the illusion even more convincing.

Stop by at the post office and have your deliveries postponed so your mail won’t pile up. Also call your newspaper and cancel delivery for the time you won’t be present.

Final touch

One of the most important things to do is to have a good security system. If you think this is too expensive, at least secure your house properly. Double check locks on doors and windows, and make sure all valuables are out of sight.

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