Ruthann Sprague from the NRA's Refuse To Be A Victim® program was kind enough to share the following Ten Tips to Protect Your Home While You Are Away with NRAblog.com:
The summer is a time to hit the road and explore new places! Here are some ideas from Refuse To Be A Victim® that will help you to reduce the threat of burglary while you are away.
- Use photoelectric and/or motion sensor lights outdoors and try to provide 360 degree lighting around your house. These are available for only a few dollars at many hardware stores, and can be installed easily into existing outlets.
- Make it appear that someone is staying in your home. Use timers for lighting and appliances such as radios and televisions. Set the timers to turn on at random times during the day and the night.
- Have a neighbor or family member pick up your mail, newspapers, and flyers. Also ask them to put your trash and recycling out on the usual day and time. Don’t discontinue delivery or trash pick up, because this can alert an unscrupulous person to the dates that you’ll be away from home. Ask them to alternate the time of day he or she picks up your mail and checks on your home. Varying the routine increases the appearance of habitation.
- If you have an alarm system, be sure your neighbor has the alarm codes. Notify the alarm company to contact your neighbor if there is a problem.
- Hire a pet sitter rather than board your pets. This ensures that someone trustworthy is coming in and out of your house and checking it to make sure everything is safe.
- Make sure all windows, doors, and pet doors are locked. This seems obvious, but criminals seek the path of least resistance. By taking simple precautions, you’ll reduce chances of being victimized.
- Be sure that valuables aren’t visible through windows of your home. Sometimes, criminals peer through windows and open doors to see your belongings. Use concealing drapes that help block the view and preserve privacy.
- Make sure your landscaping is trimmed and low so that no one can hide in your plantings. During the summer months plants can grow quickly. Keep them trimmed.
- Leave a car parked in the driveway. Again, you want to give the appearance that someone is staying at home. You might even ask your neighbor or family member to start your car and move it around to increase the illusion of occupancy.
- Don’t leave valuables in your car where they can be seen; at least lock them in the trunk! Criminals have been known to “smash and grab” (causing hundreds of dollars worth of damage) for only a few pennies worth of change left in a conspicuous spot inside cars.
Learn more about Refuse To Be A Victim®.