Rushing to travel somewhere may be stressful. Whether you’re updating your passport, preparing your luggage or running late to the airport, it’s vital to remember the most important task on your to-do list, protecting your home and belongings. Don’t remember what to do? Here are 10 quick tips to help you think like Kevin McCallister from “Home Alone” and protect your home.
1. Keep your travels a secret
Don’t mention your travels to any guests or acquaintances. Especially, through social media! Only notify those you believe to be trustworthy, such as your family, close friends or even your neighbors.
2. Lock everything
You should lock not only your doors and windows, but also your garage, fences, safe boxes and vehicles. If you have extra time available, install deadbolt locks and interior door hinges on all doors leading to the outside as well.
3. Shut off your electric devices and appliances
It can be easy to forget if you turned off your appliances after leaving your home. For extra security, unplug your appliances or turn off your breakers. Another plus, you’ll save on your electric bill.
4. Turn on your security system
This is vital but easily forgettable as well. Thankfully, many of today’s security systems, such as surveillance cameras, can be accessed through your smart phone or you may call the security system company to turn on the device for you.
5. Take back that hidden spare key
Most of us are guilty of hiding the spare key near the door, the worst and most predictable spot for robbers to find. Remove that spare key from below your front door mat and take it with you. Of course, just make sure you don’t lose your keys while travelling. Nonetheless, if someone you trust is watching your house while you’re away, you can leave the spare key with them, too.
6. Decide what you can’t live without and hide them
Most thieves will want to break into and leave properties as quickly as possible. The most popular rooms visited by burglars are the living room and master bedroom. Hide your most valuable items in the most unexpected places. If you have a safe, ensure that it is bolted through a wall and difficult to take apart.
7. Set up your lights on a timer
Having a brightly lit home, particularly during the night, will deter thieves. Try setting up timers for interior, and especially exterior, light fixtures.
8. Throw your trash out when you come back
Leaving your trash out earlier than normal signals that the home will be vacant for quite some time. Try emptying the trash before you leave or ask your trustworthy friend or neighbor to do it for you. If neither are possible, it’s best to take out the trash when you return.
9. Leave a car on your driveway
It will make it seem your home is occupied, especially if there is usually a vehicle parked on your driveway on regular days.
10. And don’t forget to remove the garage door opener
If you leave your vehicle on your driveway and have an automatic garage door opener, remember to remove the device, as well as other valuables, including important documents, toll pass devices and electronics.
Although there is no 100% guaranteed way of protecting your valuables against thieves, it helps to add barriers to deter them. If you do unfortunately experience a theft while you’re travelling, the Sturdevant-Beach and Associates team is available for support. After contacting your local authorities, give us a call – we’re here to help!