1. Remove Mail/Newspaper Build Ups
Put a hold on your mail and your newspaper deliveries, or have someone take in the mail so your home doesn’t look empty.
2. Don’t Broadcast Your Trip
Don’t tell too many people you will be away, you don’t want the wrong person to know that you left your home empty.
Don’t post your upcoming trip on Facebook, Twitter, or any other Social Networking site.
Don’t “check in” to restaurants, stores or tourist sites online while on vacation.
Don’t post daily updates or blog about your trip while you’re away.
Resist the urge to post pictures from your trip online until you get back home.
No matter how tight your privacy settings are, broadcasting your trip over a blog or social networking site allows strangers (or worse, untrustworthy friends) to know that your home is empty.
3. Have a friend watch your home.
Ask someone you trust to drive by your house daily. Give that person or a key to get in incase of an emergency like a water leak or an alarm sounding. If you have more than one person visiting your house (such as a dog walker or someone watering your plants) make sure they know about each other.
4. Make Sure You can Be Reached
The same someone watching your house should have a way to reach you by phone. If you will be out of the country or on a cruise, plan ahead and test the number, to make sure that you can give your contact person a working phone number to reach you. Give this person other important contact numbers, including your insurance agent’s phone number. (For E.I.F.S. its (888)343-7463)
5. Make Your House Look Lived In
Use timers to have lights go on and off so they think someone is home. Set at least two lights to go on and off at different times in different parts of the house. Leave curtains as you usually keep them; noticeable changes will hint that you’re not around.
Ask the person watching your house to do small things to make your home look lived in. Have them move a car, park in your driveway, or take out the trash and put the garbage can away again the next day.
6. Hide Valuables
Move expensive items such as jewelry, cash, and silver so that it is out of site. Make sure you can’t view anything valuable from the windows of your home. Put laptop and other electronics safely away and out of site. Do not leave purses or bags sitting out where they can be seen, even if they are empty.
7. Change Your Answering Machine
Callers don’t need to know you’re not home. Change your message so it says “we can’t come to the phone right now.”
8. Protect Your Home from Danger (such as Water or Fire)
Unplug all small appliances (such as the toaster oven, coffee pot, TV, and computer).
Don’t leave the house until you check that there is no water left running. If you’re going to be gone for a while turn off the water to your washing machine, icemaker and dishwasher.
9. Lock all doors and windows.
It sounds simple enough but check all doors and windows. Did you forget the garage and basement entrances? Make sure cat/dog doors are locked up tight. Remove your spare key from its hiding place.
10. Don’t Leave Burglars a Map to Your Empty Home
Don’t leave your portable GPS unit in the airport parking lot with your “home” location programmed into the system. Add a working garage door opener and you have not only left them with a convenient map to your home, but also a way to enter it. Also make sure nothing else in the car identifies the address of your empty home.
The best way to protect your home is with a good Homeowner's Insurance Policy.
Call E.I.F.S. today and let us help you relax by making sure your home is protected.
Now that your home is secure, have a great vacation and relax!