Partners in Policing remind travellers empty homes during the winter vacation season is a tempting target for criminals.
There are a number of things you can do to prevent your home from thieves and the following tips will keep the criminals guessing,’Is anyone home?’
Ask a friend, family member or neighbour to help
While on vacation, ask a trusted friend or family member to drive by and check on your home once a day.
Having more than one person check your house is also a good idea but just make sure they are aware.
The lights are on but no one’s home
Don’t leave your lights on at home throughout your entire vacation in an effort to make it look like someone is in the house. Instead, purchase a light switch timer that can turn your lights on and off automatically according to a programmed schedule. Criminals keeping an eye on your house will notice lights flipping on and off, and will often assume someone is home. If you do not have a timer, ask your friend who is checking the house to alternate which lights are left on.
Don’t tip off criminals with social media
Social networking sites are great for keeping in touch however be careful what you post as a social media status. Would you announce to a crowd of people you don’t know that you will be leaving your house unattended for a week or two? If not, then you should think twice about posting your vacation plans on social networking sites. You never know who might read it, especially if that information is visible to social media users other than your friends and family.
Curtains closed – or open?
Leave your curtains exactly as you usually keep them when you’re home since noticeable changes could hint that you’re not around anymore. Be sure to store any jewelry and electronics out of sight or in a safety deposit box away from home.
Make your house looked lived in
Nothing signals an empty house like a week’s worth of mail, newspapers and snow on the front step. Stop your mail and newspaper delivery or have your friend pick them up while you are away. Also, ask your friend to move your car it so it looks like it’s been used and consider hiring someone to remove snow and ice from your driveway.
Lock all of your windows and doors
Although this may seem obvious, unlocked homes are the number one choice for opportunistic thieves. If you do not make it easy to get into your home, chances are thieves will move on. Installing a home security system and/or external lighting is another great way to deter criminals from targeting your home.
A vacation is supposed to be a relaxing time. There is no reason why you should have to spend time worrying about the safety of your home, as long as you make sure to take the necessary precautions.