Preparing your home for vacation


Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway while you are away so that your home appears occupied.


There is still time for a summer getaway, and many families will try to squeeze in one more trip before school starts for the fall. But keep in mind that thieves target homes temporarily unoccupied while the owners are enjoying their vacation. Today’s thieves quickly identify such easy targets.

While home burglaries cost consumers billions of dollars each year, these invasions of their private homes also traumatize thousands of families.

Before you leave for vacation, take every possible step to see that your home does not appear to be unoccupied:

  • Lock all doors and windows – This sounds basic but is too often overlooked. Be sure to lock the garage door and disconnect your garage door opener.
  • Keep up driveway activity – Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.
  • Be sure mail and newspaper deliveries are handled – You can stop deliveries or have a neighbor collect them for you.
  • Do not announce your absence on your voice mail – Thieves sometimes call to see if a house is empty.
  • Be cautious about social media, too – Don’t discuss your plans online.
  • Keep up the outside appearance of your home – If you take an extended trip, arrange to have grass cut or snow shoveled.
  • Use automatic timers – Set up timers to turn lights off and on.
  • Notify the police of your absence – The police will usually do occasional drive-bys to check your home.

While none of these suggestions can guarantee the safety of your home, they are proven deterrents against home burglaries. While you play, keep thieves away!

This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article.

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