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Nothing ruins a summer vacation faster than coming home to discover a broken window and missing things. No one wants to come home to a break-in. Security expert Richard L. Soloway offers 10 tips to help ensure a safe home while away on vacation are below.
1. Internet: Don’t tip off criminals on the web. Never post anything on social media sites about your upcoming trip that could let people know you will not be at home.
2. Tell someone: Tell neighbors you’ll be away. If you have a good relationship with a neighbor, consider leaving a copy of your key in case of emergency – or at least your contact information while you’re away and the phone number of someone locally who has a key.
3. Timing matters: Put lights on a timer. Install a timer that will turn on certain lamps throughout the house at specific hours daily. Giving the impression that your house is occupied is one of the surest ways to deter theft.
4. Do your best and Lock up. It sounds almost too simple to mention, but it’s too easy to forget to latch less frequently used windows and doors.
5. Security systems: Set the alarm. If you have a home security system make sure to set it before leaving the house. Alert your security company that you will be away.
6. Secure Sliding Glass. Sliding glass windows and doors by placing a wooden pole in the groove of the tracks when the door is shut. My parents do this and it is a great idea. My dad just cut a piece of wood to fit- it just “jams” the door so that it won’t open if the wood is sitting in the grove of the door where it normally slides.
7. Get online and stop your mail. Make sure to put a “stop” order on mail and newspapers, or arrange to have a friend or neighbor pick up your mail while you’re away. You can call or do it online.
8. Pull the plug. Unplug your TV, your computer, the toaster oven and other small appliances to protect them from power surges.
9. Think like a criminal… Remove your spare key. If you keep a spare key “hidden” outside, make sure to bring it indoors while you are away. It is such an easy way in!
10. Hide and lock up your valuables. Lock up jewelry, the deed to your home, wills, and any other valuables or sensitive documents in a fire-proof safe.