Before you head out the door for that great summer getaway, take a little time to ensure you’ve done what you can to protect your home while you’re away.
Tidy up around the house
Ensure anything that could help thieves break into your house are all safely stored in the garage, such as ladders, axes, hammers and saws.
Lock it up
Double check that you’ve locked all doors and windows, set the alarm and haven’t forgotten about the garage.
Turn down the ring tone on your phone
Nothing says ‘nobody’s home’ like a long, loud, unanswered phone ringing.
Be careful who you tell
Don’t announce your vacation plans on social media sites and don’t advertise your absence on your phone answering machine. Also, only post travel pictures when you are back.
Cancel your newspaper
Another sign that screams ‘we’re away’ is newspapers piled up on your doorstep or driveway.
Unplug TV sets, stereos, computers and other electronics or ensure they are plugged into a surge protector.
Make your home look lived in
Remove valuables from clear sight and leave curtains and blinds as they would normally be, because noticeable changes in your home’s typical appearance hint that you are away. Also consider using light switch timers that turn lights on and off automatically.
Ask a friend or neighbour to help
Tell a trusted neighbour that you are going away and arrange for them to collect your mail, because an overflowing mailbox says the same thing a collection of newspapers does – ‘we’re not here, so come on in and help yourself’.
If you’re going to be away for an extended period, you may want to ask a friend or neighbour to pop over once a week to check on things. Also make sure that they know how to reach you if something happens.