Vacation Tips: Keep Home Burglar-Free

Many of you will be leaving your home for at least a few days. You will be parking your cars in strange areas, and there may be some things you may not have considered. You know, you don’t have to dig moats to make your home your castle. Since burglars are generally unskilled amateurs (most of them under 18 years of age), adequate locks and reasonably strong door are usually enough to make them look for an easier target.

Some people actually pay a house-sitter to take care of their property while they are away. But if you can’t afford this or don’t care for the idea, there are number of steps you can take that will have the same effect.

For instance, it won’t do much good to lock the door if you leave a window open somewhere else. Burglars don’t mind a little physical exertion when there is a rich reward waiting on the other side. And once inside, they can unlock the door and use the usual exit to cart your stereo away. So make sure you close and lock all your windows anytime you are not in the house.

Don’t leave the burglar a key, either. The flower pot, mailbox, or door ledge makes a logical, convenient hiding place. And because so many people think so, the burglar already knows about it. Leave your spare key with a trustworthy neighbor instead. Chances are, she’ll be there if you lock yourself out. And this kind of arrangement can also provide helpful if a fire or other emergency should occur when you are not at home.

When you do leave your home, don’t advertise the fact that you are gone. A note taped to your door is like an engraved invitation to a burglar. Especially if you mention the time you expect to return. Even an amateur thief can easily make sure he and your jewelry are both gone by then.

An open garage door with no car inside is also a good way to let burglars know you won’t be there to give them any trouble. And if you keep your tools there, it provides everything needed to break into your home as well. Including a nice quite place to work where the neighbors can’t spot the suspicious activity. So, lock your garage door before you leave home; and soon as you return.

Don’t leave the burglar any other tools either. A ladder propped up against the side of the house or stashed behind a storage shed provides easy access ti second-floor windows. And an un-pruned tree can have the same effect.

Take a walk around your home and look at it the way a burglar would. Then, whenever you spot an opportunity for a break-in, remove it. Chances are, if you take all these precautions, your house will be too difficult a mark for the average burglar. And he’ll move on to easier pickings.

Take a few precautions inside your home as well. Just in case!

Put portable items such as jewelry, valuable paintings, furs, and guns under lock and key in a closet (or stash them between basement or attic rafters) if possible. And don’t call attention to collections of stamps or coins with an elaborate display. Distribute them around the house, and be creative in choosing your hiding places. Note: you might consider the bathroom closet behind a stack of towels, since few burglars spend much time in this particular room.

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