Traveling is stressful enough without having to worry about someone breaking into your home while you’re away, stealing your valuables and violating your privacy. And according to Safeguard the World, home burglary is something that happens over 2 million times a year in the U.S. alone. The good news is there are things you can do to make sure your home doesn’t become a statistic.
Save the Social Media Posts
According to surveys, it is believed that about 80 percent of all burglars use social media to target their victims. But don’t think just posting vacation pics or updates will tip them off. Your location services on your phone might also show up on a post completely unrelated to your travel plans. Make sure you turn your location tracking off on your smartphone if you simply can’t refrain from social media.
Alert Your Trusted Neighbors
Even if your neighborhood doesn’t participate in a neighborhood watch program, you should get to know a few of them so you can help each other out. When you are heading out of town, let them know how long you will be gone and about any friends that might be coming and going. That way, they can text you or call the police when they see suspicious activity. It is also helpful if you can get either a neighbor or trusted friend to pop into your house at random times during your absence to let potential burglars see that there may be activity there. Most burglars say that a car in the driveway is a definite deterrent.
Tip Off the Police
Most average and small-sized communities have some sort of vacation watch service you can request from your local police department. Some have lists you simply call and put your address on and others have forms to fill out giving specific dates of your vacation. They will put your address on their route for patrol and drive by your residence at least once per shift, checking for suspicious activity.
Nothing says “this house is vacant” louder than an overflowing mailbox or a week’s worth of newspapers sitting in your driveway. You can always opt to ask a friend or neighbor pick up your deliveries. But it is also possible to call your local post office and newspaper office and request that they pause your service. If a burglar is passing by, he or she will have to wonder if you are away instead of seeing obvious signs.
Invest in an Alarm System
It truly does make a difference. According to a study conducted by the University of North Carolina, almost 60 percent of thieves said that they would move on to another home if they saw that a house had a security system. And if you want to amplify the effect, install some motion lights and security cameras (even fake ones) to deter unwanted activity. Even if a burglar suspects the cameras are fake, it will be easier to move on to another home rather than taking the chance.
While getting away from home should be fun, there are definitely some startling statistics that can make you feel uneasy about leaving your property unattended. But, there are measures you can take to give yourself some peace of mind. Consider starting a neighborhood watch program if there is not already one in place. Enlist the help of friends to safeguard your property. Lastly, stay off of social media until you get home. It is possible to keep your home safe while you’re away if you are willing to take a few extra precautions before you leave.
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