The last thing you want to do while you're on a trip is worry about someone burglarizing your home. Use this checklist to add some peace of mind to your travel plans.
- Ask a trusted friend - to pick up your mail and newspaper and keep the yard free of trash and advertisements.
- Stop your mail but maybe not your newspaper - you can easily handle this online by going to the US Postal Service's Hold Mail Service. A recent story implicated an employee from a major newspaper who was passing customer hold requests to burglars.
- Don't post about your trip on Facebook and Twitter until you return - some burglars actually look for this type of announcement to schedule their activities.
- Do notify police and/or neighborhood watch - especially if you're going to be gone for more than just a few days. Let your monitoring service know when you'll be gone and if someone will be checking on your home for you.
- Light timers make it look like someone is home - use several set for different times to better simulate someone at home.
- Do unplug certain appliances - TVs, computers, toaster ovens that use electricity even when they're off and to protect them from power surges.
- Don't hide a key - burglars know exactly where to look for your key and it only takes them a moment to check under the mat, above the door, in the flower pot or in a fake rock.
These easy-to-handle suggestions may protect your belongings while you’re gone while adding a level of serenity to your trip. Have fun!