Securing Your Chicago Home While On Vacation

Neighborhood Watch
Creative Commons License photo credit: Eva Luedin

When making your vacation plans, whether for three days or three weeks, take special care to ensure the safety of your home. The following tips can be the difference between anxiety and peace of mind while you are on vacation.

Tip #1 – Make friends with your neighbors. Even if you do not have an active Neighborhood Watch program on your block, your neighbors still are aware of who “should” be in the neighborhood. Ask your neighbors to call you or the police if they see something suspicious.

Tip #2 – Do not advertise your vacation plans or daily schedule on social networking websites or your voice mail. Do not leave notes about your absence on your door, either.

Tip #3 – If you go on a vacation, make it seem as though your home is occupied. Use timers, ask about police patrols, and make sure to stop all newspapers and mail. Have a friend stop by and visually check-in to make sure all is well mid-way through your absence.

Tip #4 – Use a deadbolt or locking mechanism on your garage door (even if it is automatic) when you are away for an extended period and make sure any pet entrances are secure.

Tip #5 – Keep your home and yard well-maintained and well-lit with motion detectors or timed lights. Burglars do not like being seen. They also avoid homes with noisy dogs. Also, if you do have a pet, make sure you plan for its care during your absence.

After you get back from your trip, be sure to pick up your mail and restart any suspended services. Also, remember to thank those who watched over your home and offer to return the favor. You’ll be glad you did when your next vacation rolls around!

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