Safety Tips

Summer is upon us and with the rise in temperature there is also a rise in the crime rate. Unfortunately, when we go away on vacation, opportunities are presented to criminals. This blog post will provide tips for while you are on vacation and what to do to secure your house before you leave.

Here are some security tips to consider before and during vacation travel:

Provide a relative or friend with your travel itinerary and the name and phone number of any hotel or resort
where you will be staying.

Try to book hotel rooms that open onto an interior hallway, rather than to the outside (where it is easier for a stranger to monitor your comings and goings).

Book hotel rooms with electronic card keys that are reprogrammed for each new guest.

If traveling by air, keep valuables such as money, jewelry, and medicine in your carry-on bag.

Carry only enough cash for one day and only one credit card. Use the hotel safe to secure additional cash and valuables.

Keep your security card when you leave a hotel and destroy it so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands who can use your data.

Rent cars that are unobtrusive and blend in.

If using a rental car, ask which parts of town have a high-crime rate and stay clear of these areas. Have and use a detailed map of the area.

Leave nothing in plain sight in your car.

The following tips can serve as a checklist when securing your residence before leaving for a lengthy vacation or even a long weekend getaway:

Examine your house from the street and make sure that valuables, like expensive electronics, silverware,
jewelry, or artwork, are not visible from the street. If a passerby can see your belongings, so can criminals.

Mark expensive items of property, such as electronic equipment, by engraving them with a serial number or your postal zip code. These numbers will be useful if your property ever needs to be identified by the police.

Take photos or a video of your furniture and other valuable belongings. Check that your home insurance covers valuables.

To protect particularly valuable items or items that would be of particular interest to a burglar, use a home safe for secure storage.

Lock and fasten all doors and windows. Doors should have deadbolt locks with a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate.

Burglars look for occupancy cues like outdoor lights burning 24 hours a day, piled up newspapers or pizza flyers hanging on the door knob. Make it appear that you’re home: use timers on lights, radios, and televisions. Ask a trusted family member, friend or neighbor to keep the front of your home clean of papers and debris.

Keep some shades and blinds up and curtains open to keep a normal appearance.

Never leave clues that you are away. Ask a neighbor to collect your mail and newspapers—or ask for them to be held. You may also want to ask a neighbor to park in your driveway so it appears someone is home.

Never leave a message on your answering machine saying you are on vacation.

Don’t reveal your itinerary or whereabouts on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Never leave a key under a doormat, in a flowerpot, in a mailbox, or on the ledge of a door.

Don’t post your family name on your mailbox or on your house. A burglar can call directory assistance to get your telephone number and call your home while in front of your house to confirm that you are away.

If you have a home security system, make sure it is activated when you leave. The more difficult you make it for the intruder, the less likely he or she will be to force their way into your home.

I hope you find these tips useful! Feel free to add any you think has been been left out in the comment section.

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