While You’re Away, The Burglars Play

5 Tips for your away game

We all look forward to our vacations. But, that always comes with the caveat that in the back of your mind you are thinking about what you forgot at home. Did I turn down the air conditioner? Did I leave the coffee pot on?

Beyond the basic worries of getting away (which is a lot of your brain working/worrying away as you finally are taking a break from your focus on work and home), there are a number of things you can do to keep things safe and sound while you are away. Some are simple and may leave you saying “this is expert advice?” But ask any mechanic what the most simple thing causing the biggest problems this time of year and they’ll say, “people forget to check their oil.”

  1. Lock your doors and windows. Keep the honest people honest. Maybe it sounds ridiculous, but big problems can arise from the smallest of things. Burglars will find any opportunity available to them, even if it’s an unlocked window to the attic. Don’t make it easy for them. Lock and reinforce vulnerable points of entry. Read our review of the Door Devil. 80% of burglaries start at the front door. Also, we recommend products like the digital door bell Sky Bell which allows you to answer the door while you are away and to be alerted when someone is on your porch. The Charley Bar is another product that is designed to prevent forced entry of a sliding glass door.
  2. Put important lights on timers. Your lights indicate an important part of your routine at home. If someone is watching you, putting your lights on timers can emulate your routine. Focus on your routine and time the lights accordingly. If you watch TV every evening. Have a lamp turn on at dusk in the living room and turn off at bedtime. Follow that with a light timer in your bedroom for the duration you spend getting ready for bed.
  3. Alert a trusted neighbor that you will be gone. Having an extra set of eyes on your property never hurts. Have a relative stop by and check on things, like picking up the mail. Or hold the mail while you are gone. Better yet, higher a house sitter that can be home while you are away.
  4. Lock up your valuables. Place the irreplaceable stuff in a safe if possible. Otherwise, find an unexpected hiding place for them. Sto laptops and iPads that you are not taking with you. And stash items of value like your back-up hard drive and other small electronics, passcode books or check book. You may not be able to hide your new TV, but if you can secure smaller items that are harder to replace or can lead to greater compromises, like your data.
  5. Don’t post to Social Media while away. It’s tempting to catalog your adventures for your friends and family, and while you are away you may have the downtime to do it. DON’T! A simple share may alert the wrong people that you are out of town. You can’t control if your friends or family share out your post saying “wish we were doing that.” And, you have no idea who their friends are that might see it and act on it. So, save all that posting and those great pictures for when you are home.

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