Preventing Burglaries

Fifteen Ways to Discourage a Criminal


Terrific! You're going away on holiday. You've worked hard, and you deserve a break. Make sure you aren't burglarized while you're gone.


Here are fifteen tips to help insure that when you return from trip, your home and possessions will be as you left them. If you follow a few of these recommendations, you'll enjoy your vacation more, due to the fact that you'll understand you've taken adequate safety measures. The only thing that you'll fret about will be whether you left the iron or the stove on, by error. There is no remedy for that outside of smart appliances!


1. Put your mail on hold. There's absolutely nothing that states "Nobody's home," like an overrunning mailbox or a stack of mail on the floor under your door's letterbox. Do this early to enable the post office to get the information to your letter carrier. Just to be sure, do it 3 or 4 days before you leave.


2. By the very same token, put your newspaper subscription on hold. A pile of unread newspapers is as clear as a neon sign stating, "Vacant," to the burglar.


3. Get a timer for your lights. They're not pricey, and they give the impression that someone's in your home.


4. Leave some music playing, or put the TV on a 24 hour news channel. Anybody approaching your premises will certainly hear it and assume someone is home.


5. Never ever put a message on your voice mail which says, "We're not home right now ...," since if a well-organized burglar is calling to see if anybody's home he'll understand that the coast is clear. You may as well put on a message saying, "Come right in."


6. An argument about whether to leave your drapes open or closed when you're on getaway has raved on for many years. You have to choose what's best for you, considering exactly what's visible from outside your windows. Some fence-sitters in this argument leave some drapes closed and some open. Just do what looks normal for your house.


7. Another argument surrounds whether or not you ought to leave your automobile in the driveway. Others think that a vehicle at home will persuade a thief that there's someone home.


8. Padlock all gates to your back yard. It's one more thing to slow a burglar down while carrying your DVD player and weapon collection.


9. Get someone trustworthy to go to your home regularly to move the drapes, water your plants and do whatever backyard work has to be done. It's unlikely that your trustworthy pal will have a party. This isn't the movies, after all.


10. Provide a contact number to a next-door neighbor or buddy. This is for emergency situations only.


11. It may be obvious, however check that the doors and windows are locked.


12. If you have an alarm system, call the security company or police department and let them know that you're leaving and if someone's taking care of your building, tell them that too. Recommend that they send out a representative to drive by your place every couple of days.


13. Let the cops know your itinerary. Just like the security business, they could drive by periodically, as long as it's not too obvious.


14. Get a floor safe and store your valuables there. If installed correctly, they are nearly undetectable.


15. Consider employing a house-sitter. Having a reputable person living in your house may be your finest insurance coverage against being a break-in victim.


It may sound more complicated than a military exercise, but remember that you can begin on your prep well in advance of your vacation. Keep in mind, it will certainly all be worth it when you see your property retreat in your rear view mirror, secure in the understanding that you've done everything in your power to protect your home and possessions from criminals.