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Secure Your Home before Traveling Checklist; Top 10 Tips | Travel & Vacation Tips & Resources

Secure Your Home before Traveling Checklist

If you’ve ever watched the movie “Home Alone,” you can probably pinpoint all the errors the McAllisters made before they took their trip to Paris, thus leaving their son Kevin and their home vulnerable to the “Wet Bandits!”

Here are ten tips to help ensure your home or apartment is secure while you are away on vacation.

1. Make sure all the doors and windows in your home are locked and the garage is securely closed as well.

2. While an automatic timer can be useful to turn on the outdoor light, it is more important to have a timer for the TV or lamps throughout the home. This would indicate to a potential burglar that someone is actually home.

3. Ever notice when someone is away that their mail piles up in the mailbox and sometimes there is so much mail it drops to the floor? Ask a neighbor to pick up the mail or contact the post office and have the mail put on hold for the length of time your family is away.

4. Do you have your daily newspaper delivered? If so, imagine the newspapers and circulars piled up on your front lawn. Suspend the delivery service and again ask a neighbor to collect any circulars that are left on your premises.

5. We all have a tendency to tell our friends that we are going way on vacation. After all, it’s an exciting time. Perhaps you’re having dinner with friends at a restaurant or talking about it at the Laundromat. Anyone could be listening to the conversation. If you do want to tell your friends about your impending trip, do so by phone or in a private area.

6. If you are at all leery about leaving your home for an extended time, ask a family member or close friend to house sit for you. This will alleviate any concerns you have.

7. If you have jewelry or other valuable items or documents hidden away in a safe area in your home, you may want to put them into a safety deposit box until you return.

8. Give your itinerary to a very close neighbor who has been asked to watch your home so that in case of an emergency, you can be contacted.

9. If you are going to be away for an extended period of time and you have a lawn service that comes to your home frequently to trim hedges and mow the lawn, ensure they continue to do so even while you are away.

10. Check with neighbors to determine if they will be away as well. If so, do not call them and leave a message on their answering machine. This was a clear give-a-way to the Wet Bandits when they were burglarizing another home.

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