Keep Your Home Safe While You Are Away
With millions of Americans going on at least one vacation this summer, safety and security precautions are a must. Proactive measures can help consumers keep their home safe from fire, carbon monoxide, and the threat of burglary while they are away.
The Better Business Bureau is offering the following safety tips for homeowners during the summer season:
Be careful about the vacation details you share via social media. Burglars can use posts on Twitter or Facebook to determine when you’ll be away. In recent polls, more than one third (35%) of Americans said they believed their home is too ordinary and would not interest a burglar. However, a vacant home could be enough to attract unwanted attention, so be careful about broadcasting your travel plans.
Lock your doors even when you’re gone for a brief amount of time. Two thirds (67%) of Americans surveyed agree they do more to protect their homes when they are going away for a night than when they are just leaving for a few hours. But, according to the FBI, more than half (53%) of home burglaries happen during the day, so homeowners should secure doors and windows every time they leave their home.
Keep an inventory. Take the time to go through your house and make a detailed inventory of your belongings. Your inventory could be a paper list, pictures, video or a combination but be sure to notate the serial numbers or any blemishes that would make your property easily identifiable. For electronics, such as televisions, DVD players, DVRs and game consoles, use a black marker to write your name, address, phone number and maybe your driver’s license number on the back or bottom of the unit. This writing won’t be noticed by a thief trying to get out of your home quickly, but it will be noticed by the pawn shop during their inspection or the police once the criminal is caught.
Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every month. Summer marks the beginning of hurricane season and afternoon thunderstorms, so if a generator needs to be used in a power outage, a quick test of your monitored life safety devices can help keep your family safe from potentially dangerous fumes.
Keep hedges and bushes around your home trimmed, so burglars don’t have places to hide, also ask neighbors to pick up your paper and remove the trashcan from the road.
Alert the Neighbors. If you plan on being away, let your neighbors know so they can keep an eye on your property, and alert the police if they see something suspicious. They can also bring in your paper, mail and trashcan so that doesn’t alert criminals that you may be away.
If you want to relax on vacation, make sure your vacation planning includes securing your home while you are gone. If you choose to contract with a security company, find trustworthy companies and check out their BBB Business Profile first at bbb.org.