More than just real estate

Keeping Your Home Safe While You’re Away

Are you heading out of this Midwestern winter and going on a vacation to a warmer climate?

Whether you’re one of the lucky vacationers or not, you probably don’t need me to tell you to lock all your doors and windows when you’re gone. But is there anything else you can do to keep your house safe?

There is!

Lock the door between your house and garage

A lot of us leave the door that connects our home and garage unlocked and that’s not good. The garage is a top target of thieves, not only because people usually neglect to lock the door that leads to the inside of the home, but because it is usually the easiest place to enter.

Advertise your security company

If you have an alarm system installed in your house, make sure you display that near doors and windows. Stating that your house is protected by a security system can be a huge deterrent to thieves.

Move valuables away from windows

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Just as you shouldn’t leave valuables in your car in plain sight, you shouldn’t leave valuables in your home in clearly visible spots.

Consider motion sensors and light timers

Motion sensor lights outside of the home and light timers inside can be a great way to deter theft and have the house appear occupied when it is not.

Tell somebody you trust that you’ll be away (and ask them to do a chore or two)

Tell a neighbor, friend or family member if you’re going to be out of town. Ask the friend to bring your trash to the curb or hire somebody to make sure your driveway is clear in case it snows. If these chores are missed, it can be obvious to outsiders that the home is unoccupied.

Also if the forecast calls for extremely low temperatures while you’re away, see if it’s possible to have your friend occasionally run the faucets and flush the toilets to ensure that the water pipes do not freeze.

Save energy

Unplug any devices not in use while you’re on vacation, including microwaves, computers, televisions or other electronics

Hold your mail and newspaper delivery

Like not clearing your driveway in the event of snow, one of the biggest tip-offs to burglars that you’re not home is piled up newspapers on your front step. If you’d rather not have your mail and newspapers held, give someone you trust a house key and have them bring in the mail and paper each day that you’re gone.

Enjoy your trip and stay safe!

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