During summer trip season, use this checklist to protect your property and to make your home seem occupied. These steps can discourage burglars and thieves.
Install good locks on doors and windows. It is true that an intruder who really wants to get into your house probably can find some way, but most burglaries are crimes of opportunity committed by small time thieves. This means that the more difficult you make it for someone to enter your house, the more likely it is a thief will not make the attempt.
Install motion detector lights and fake security cameras on the outside of your home, or try real closed circuit TV. Use automatic timers on inside lights and photoelectric switches on outside lights. A week or two before you go, set your timers so you can establish a routine while you are still home. There are even timers for sale that can vary the on/off times. Periodically have a radio or TV turned on.
Don’t leave valuable items where they can be easily observed from the windows. Video equipment, TVs, stereos, gun collections, etc. should be stored in cellars, closets, on the second floor, or left with a friend or neighbor. Equipping a storage room with a good quality lock makes a good storage area too. Leave your curtains in the normal position. Have a neighbor close them at night and open them at daylight, or use sheers. Sheers help to hide the view into the house without making it obvious, as curtains would, that no one is home.
Put at least two lights and a radio on automatic timers. Leave the bathroom light on with the door ajar to add to the idea that someone is home. Close and lock your garage doors to prevent someone from entering through the garage. Consider putting a lock in the track of overhead garage doors. Remember, attached garages that are not kept locked provide the means for an intruder to enter the garage and work in privacy at breaking into your house, perhaps even with the assistance of your own tools!
Cover your garage windows to prevent anyone from seeing the contents of your garage and see whether your auto is in there. Check your homeowner’s insurance policy- does it provide robbery coverage while you’re staying in hotels and motels? It should. Don’t let your travel plans become widely known.
Try to arrange for a house-sitter, but if you can’t, give your immediate neighbors a card with your pertinent information. If you are to be gone for an long period, you may want a trusted neighbor to:
-Check the house every day for anything unusual.
-Park in your driveway or in front of the house.
-Occasionally place garbage in your garbage can.
-Cut the lawn.
-Pick up your mail and paper.