When you are busy packing and planning for your holiday, burglars are preparing for one of their busiest seasons, too: the long summer months when residents leave their homes empty for extended periods of time while on vacation.
Don’t be the next target. And don’t do these tell-tale things that signal to burglars that your home is empty.
• Don't draw all the curtains tightly closed. Instead, leave your home looking natural and as it would usually on a summer afternoon. If you live on a ground floor and are concerned about burglars peering in, consider using privacy curtains instead of full blinds.
• Mow the lawn and have someone collect your mail. In the same vein, don’t let an overgrown garden or pile of mail on the porch indicate that no one has been around in days.
• Don't leave extra keys outside. Anywhere that you hide an extra key, a burglar can find it. Every year in Canada, thousands of burglaries happen because the thief has easy access to a home from a spare key. Leave it with a neighbour, if you must have a spare.
• Fix weak doors and windows. Replace or reinforce any entrances that are easy to break in through – like a weak door or an unsecure window – to make sure that a desperate burglar can’t easily enter.
• Set up an alarm system. If you have an alarm system, make sure you set it before you leave. If you don’t yet have one, now is a good time to get a system. A quality alarm system is one of the best defenses against burglaries.
• Be cautious with social media. Don’t post about your holiday plans and updates until you are back. If you must share daily photos of your trip, do so only with a select group of family and friends that you trust. Save the public photos for later.
The biggest take-away is to make sure your home is secured, with no easy ways to break in, and that you have not announced to the world that you’re not home. Rest easy on your vacation without worrying about what’s happening at home!