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Tips to Protect Your House and Family While You Are Away

It is that time of year when everyone is getting ready to go on vacation or off to training camp. While you are away here are a few tips to follow to prevent your house from becoming a target of a break in. 

1.    Leaving your garage door open or unlocked.

Once inside the garage, a burglar can use anything inside to break into your home, out of anyone’s sight.

  • The Smart Play: Always close and lock the garage door.


2.    Hiding spare keys. 

Burglars know about fake rocks and statues, they will check under doormats, in mailboxes, and over doorways. 

  • The Smart Play: Give a spare set to a trusted neighbor or family member.


3.    Storing ladders outdoors or in unlocked sheds. 

Burglars can use them to reach the roof and unprotected upper floor windows. 

  • The Smart Play:  Keep ladders locked/chained indoors.


4.   Letting landscaping get overgrown. 

Tall plants near the house create hiding spots for burglars who may even use overhanging branches to climb onto your roof.

  • The Smart Play:  Trim any bushes and trees around your home. Keep your windows and doors clear. 


5.   Keeping your house in the dark. 

Like overgrown landscaping, poor exterior lighting creates shadows in which burglars can work unobserved.

  • The Smart Play:  Replace burned out bulbs promptly, add lighting where needed, and consider putting timers or fixtures on motion/light sensors so they go on automatically.


6.   Not securing sliding doors. 

  • Smart Play:  Put a dowel down in the channel, so that the door can't be opened wide enough for a person to get through (also good for windows too).


7.   Leaving "goody" boxes by the curb. 

Nothing screams "I just got a brand new flat-screen, stereo, or other big-ticket item" better than boxes by the curb with your garbage cans.

  • The Smart Play:  Break down big boxes into small pieces and bundle them together so that you can't tell what was inside.


8.   Posting anything on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites. 

Burglars constantly surf social media sites looking for targets.

  • The Smart Play:  Wait until you get back before sharing vacation or training camp details or make sure your security settings only allow trusted "friends" to see what you're up to.


Additional tips to protect your house and family while you are away: 

1.   Stop newspaper, mail and other deliveries, have someone check your house for random flyers left on doors.

2.   Make sure you have timers for your lights and a radio or TV set to go on to create the appearance of someone being home. If possible, use a timer with a backup battery.

3.   When leaving on a trip, pack your car inside a closed garage.

4.   Let the local police know when you are going to be gone for an extended period of time. They will provide extra patrols around your house.

5.   Don’t leave valuables out in plain sight. Close your blinds.

6.   Use your security equipment!

7.   Be proactive, call 911 if anything doesn’t “feel” right or looks out of place.

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