While property crimes generally spike during the summer, especially July and August, the holidays are always a prime opportunity for burglars. If you’re planning to vacation during this holiday season, consider these tips before heading out:
Before you leave, double check that all doors and windows are locked. Don’t forget the upstairs windows: AC units, ladders, nearby trees, and even garbage cans can give thieves access to those windows. Trim or remove shrubs that offer easy hiding places. Don’t leave spare keys outside; thieves know where to look, too.
Don’t post vacation plans on social media sites. You can’t completely control who sees your updates, regardless of your privacy settings. Have a trusted friend periodically check your home, but resist the temptation to announce your departure on the Internet.
Leave the light on.
Make it appear you haven’t left home at all. Stop your mail, or have a friend or neighbor collect it. Have someone mow your lawn if you’ll be away for a longer period of time. Set timers for inside lights or even a television. Don’t leave a porch light on continuously, though, as that could signal that you’re not home. Instead, install motion-sensing floodlights, even on the sides of your home. Many homeowners light up the front and back of their houses, but leave the sides dark, making it more inviting to burglars.
Don’t forget tiny invaders.
Bugs can also take advantage of empty homes. Before you leave, make sure all trashcans are emptied and cleaned. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, and wipe any stray crumbs from kitchen countertops. Many bugs come inside in search of water, so fix any leaks before you leave.