For many families, summer means vacation. Unfortunately, that also means empty homes for days, weeks, or months at a time. Summer months, specifically July and August, are when the majority of house burglaries occur. However, the threat of a summer break in should not prevent you from enjoying an upcoming trip. Here are a few home security tips to protect your house while you’re out of town for summer vacation:
When thinking about how to protect your home, some old fashioned security devices go a long way. Install dead-bolts on the doors and windows and make sure your doors and garage are made of sturdy material. For doors with weaker locks, like sliding glass doors, place a dowel inside the track for and added level of security. Installing an alarm system can also be a great deterrent for thieves. Many insurance companies may even give you a discount on your insurance if you have an alarm installed. With the right tools, anyone can break into a building, but you can cut the process short and make it noisy and time consuming.
While automatic lights outside are an obvious burglar deterrent, consider putting a few lamps inside the house on a timer. Leave the curtains and blinds in the same position that they’re normally in, and if you park on the street or in the driveway, ask someone you trust to park their car there while you’re gone. A full mailbox and newspapers sitting out on your front porch signals to potential burglars that you are not home. Consider asking a close friend or neighbor to pick up your mail, or have the post office hold your mail while you’re away.
While it is fun and exciting to share vacation plans on social media, burglars can use this information to determine when you will and won’t be home. Hold off on sharing details about and photos of your trip until you return. Make sure to let a few trusted neighbors or family members know about your trip and have them keep an eye on your house while you are away.
If, despite all your preparations, someone does manage to break in, make sure your most valuable property is safe. Invest in a lockbox that you can hide somewhere. In the Information Age, your data can be more valuable than the computer it’s stored on. Put your most valuable digital information on a portable thumb drive that you can stow away with any valuable papers you have. Turn off your Wi-Fi and unplug any computers you have from the internet.
Of course, you will still have expensive electronics, antiques, and other valuable items in the house, which is why it is important to have homeowners insurance or renters insurance. A standard homeowners insurance policy covers the theft of most personal items. More expensive items such as jewelry and art typically have limited coverage, you may need to consider itemized scheduled coverage for those items. Find an independent Grange Insurance Association agent near you so that you can spend less time worrying about your coverage and more time enjoying your vacation.
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