Protecting Your Home from Burglary While on Vacation

According to the Insurance Information Institute, one quarter of all home burglaries take place during the winter months when many of us are traveling for winter vacations.

So before you have all of the joy drained out of your trip, here are a few tips to protect your belongings and home when you’re away.

First off, stand on the street in front of your house and try to think like a crook. Is your garbage full of boxes and packages that will be a tip off on all the expensive gadgets inside?  How about your landscaping? Are there bushes and shrubs that offer perfect hiding places? Are there decorative trellis’ that give access to second story windows? Identify things you can better conceal, or not publically advertise, and remove any easy “ins” to your house.

A burglar is more likely to avoid a house that has neighborhood watch signs, is well lit, or has a loud, barking dog. But if a crook does zero in on your home, he will first look for an easy entry point, for example; an unlocked door, an open window, an easy-to-reach garage roof with access to the second-floor windows, an open garage or flimsy doors with inadequate locks.

Besides the advice you’ve heard over and over again, such as canceling your newspaper and mail service while you are out of town, here’s two more tips to add to your arsenal. First, never leave a note on your door for anyone who is house sitting or coming by to drop something off. You wouldn’t do it when you are home, so why advertise the fact you are gone. Second, don’t hide a key in the yard. Most burglars know this is a common practice and will look for the obvious “fake rocks” or key stuck into a planter / flower pot next to the front door.

Finally, have a trusted friend or neighbor check on your house periodically just to be sure everything looks a-ok.

This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

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