As you know, locking up before you leave is your first defense in keeping out the bad guys. However, when it comes to home protection services, there's much more you can do to ensure that crooks never give your home a second look. Use the home security checklist below any time you leave your home for an extended period.
- Talk to your neighbors. Your immediate neighbors can keep an eye on your home while you're gone as well as help to make it appear as though the house is occupied. For example, your neighbor could bring in newspapers and any flyers left on your front door or park a car in your driveway.
- Automate sounds and lighting. Use a timer to make it appear as if someone is home. The timer can turn the radio, TV, and lights on and off at different times of the day. It's also smart to invest in outdoor lights that turn on automatically when it gets dark as well as motion-controlled lights. Variable sound and lighting will keep crooks guessing while a well-lit exterior will make your home unattractive to them.
- Talk to your local police department or home protection Services Company. Let the police department and/or your home protection services company know that you'll be out of town. They may be able to schedule periodic drive-byes or increase their presence in your neighborhood. If your area has had recent break-ins, they may recommend additional tips or home protection services to consider.
- Keep gifts out of sight. If you're leaving during the Christmas holidays, and leaving your gifts behind, make sure that your gifts are not visible from the outside. Stash them in a closet, out of view. Though an empty tree is less festive, it's also less tempting for crooks.
- Ask your pet sitter to use an unmarked car. If you'll be using a pet sitter to care for your pets while you're gone, ask them to arrive in an unmarked car. Having a car arrive advertising a pet-sitting service will also advertise to crooks that you're out of town.
- Use technology if you have it. If you already have webcams or a home video surveillance system, set it up so that you can remotely check in on your home or receive alerts while you're gone. If you have smart lighting in your home, use an app on your smartphone to create a more random pattern than a timer.
A little forethought and your neighbor's watchful eyes can make a big difference in preventing your home from being a crook's dream come true.