‘Tis the season for family trips, weekends at Grandma’s, and summer camp. Whether you’re getting away for a long weekend or the entire summer, you and your family deserve to be worry-free; an empty house is a target for burglars, but we have some tips to help reduce the bullseye.
Check your locks
Double and triple check that all your locks are working properly (on doors and windows). If not, have them repaired or replaced before you take off.
Rely on your neighbors
Texans are friendly people, and many of us know our neighbors well enough to check each other’s mail and turn off the sprinklers. If you’re comfortable doing so, ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your home while you’re away (and offer to return the favor the next time they leave town).
- Leave them your phone number or email address in case of an emergency.
- Ask them to pick up your mail and/or package deliveries.
- Have them place your garbage can at the curb on trash days.
If you don’t know your neighbors well, ask a family member or friend to stop by every couple of days to make sure everything is in good shape.
Don’t forget the details
- Use timers to turn your lights, TV, and/or radio on and off at appropriate times.
- Turn down your home phone’s ringer so it doesn’t tip off passersby that you’re not home.
- Don’t announce your absence on your answering machine, voicemail, or social media accounts.
Secure your valuables
- Store your most important valuables to a safety deposit box at one of your bank’s local branches. These boxes are secure, protected, and can be rented long- or short-term. Need more info? Here’s answers to common questions about safety deposit boxes.
- Consider engraving precious items in your home as recommended by Operation ID to help law enforcement identify and return the items should a break-in occur.
- Notify local police that you plan on being away. Patrol officers may have the opportunity to periodically check on your home.
Protect your home
Crime has no zip code and can happen anywhere; following these and other tips provided by local law enforcement can help protect your home while you enjoy your time away.