10 Things Every Homeowner Needs to Know about Home Security

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Tis the Season to Worry about Home Security

As autumn draws near many people begin planning for the holidays. The time between Halloween and New Year’s is one of the busiest of the year as people travel and are “on the go”. For homeowners, this is often a time when they are away from home for extended periods, leaving their home vulnerable. The good news is there are several things homeowners can do to protect their property. These 10 tips are applicable to homeowners living in the home, as well as those managing a vacant property.

1. Check In. One of the most important ways to protect an empty property is having someone you trust check in on the property daily. Choose a neighbor, friend, or relative who can easily access the property and get in contact with you.

2. Mail. One of the biggest indicators that a home is empty is accumulated mail or packages in the box or on the doorstep. Alleviate this concern by setting up a mail hold, or arranging for a neighbor or friend to collect mail every day.

3. Snow. If you live in an area that is prone to snow, it is helpful to schedule snow removal from the driveway and walkways. Not only does this give the illusion that someone is home, but also keeps the path clear for emergency crews if needed.

4. Security. Before leaving, make sure that all windows and doors are locked, and that a security system, if applicable, is set. Also check with the local police department or sheriff’s office to see if they offer a check in service for vacationers.

5. Timers. Most hardware stores sell timers than can easily be attached to lamps and light switches. Set a few timers throughout the home to give the illusion that someone is inside moving around. Timers for radios and televisions can also provide light and noise.

6. Valuables. It is commonly known that robbers first go to the master bedroom and look in the likely places to find valuables, such as under the mattress, in the sock drawer, or in boxes. Placing valuables in a safety deposit box or gun safe is the best way to prevent theft, but it is not always practical. If not, be creative about where valuables are hidden.

7. Temperature. Set the thermostat in the home to a comfortable temperature that is warm enough to prevent freezing or damage, but is cool enough to account for warmer temperatures and sunlight.

8. Electronics and Appliances.  Unplug all non-essential appliances and electronics in the home. Turn the hot water heater to a neutral setting to avoid heating unused water, and turn off the main water valve before extended trips.

9. Garbage. Make sure all garbage is outside of the home before leaving on a trip. Also know what the pickup schedule is and arrange for someone to move the can out and bring it back after pickup.

10. Perhaps the most important tip for holiday home safety is having the right insurance. Make sure all policies are up to date.

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