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Helpful tips to keep your home safe while you're on vacation

Summer vacation is a time for rest and relaxation with friends and family.  More than half of the U.S. population will take a vacation away from home this summer.  According to the Insurance Information Institute, 9 out of 10 home break-ins could be prevented if homeowners would take simple steps to burglarproof their homes.  

Before you rush out the door to begin enjoying your vacation, here are some helpful tips to help you have a relaxing and peaceful vacation. 

  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked.  Doors should have  deadbolt locks with one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate.
  • Unplug all electronics and small appliances that don't need to stay on while your gone.  Not only will this save electricity, but is also reduces the risk of fire.
  • Turn off or unplug your garage door opener so thieves can't open it with a universal remote. 
  • It's tempting to announce when you'll be leaving on a trip, but try to keep the exciting news to yourself until you've returned.  Don't post details of your vacation for the whole world to see unless you have your privacy set so only your friends can see it.
  • Make it appear that you're home by using timers on lights, radios and televisions.
  • Ask a friend or relative to pick up your newspaper and your mail instead of stopping service which lets people know that you are gone.
  • Frost or cover your garage windows so that burglars won't be able to tell if your car is gone.
  • Don't hide a key outdoors in a protected spot.  Burglars know the best hiding places better than you do.
  • Don't close your blinds when you leave on vacation if you usually keep them open.  The more normal your home appears, the better.
  • Consider hiring a house or pet sitter.  The best way to make sure your house is safe while you're gone is to have someone you trust still living in it.
  • Make sure to have your lawn maintained if you will be gone on an extended vacation.
  • Consider installing a home security system and make sure it's activated when you leave.  While deterring crime is obviously important in a home security system, you will also benefit from lower Home Insurance rates due to reduced risk of burglary and fire.  

Finally, when you get back from vacation, be sure you inspect your home upon your return.  Look for signs of entry or missing items.  If you notice anything out of its place, be sure to call the police immediately. 

Safe travels!