Summer’s nearly here, so get out, go camping, snorkeling, skydiving…Okay, maybe not skydiving.  Hop on a plane or drive cross country.  Take that well deserved time off to rest and recharge, and exercise some of these precautions to ensure your home is safe and sound when you return from your vacation:

  1. House/Pet Sitter.  This one costs a little, but if you have pets, plants and newspapers it’s a must.  Plus, a house sitter helps keep the house looking occupied which is the greatest deterrent to home burglary.  Lights are turned on and off during the course of the evening, pets are fed, plants are watered, and newspapers make it to the recycle bin all without you being there.  What about paying your sitter a little extra to dust and vacuum so you return from vacation to your clean Northwest Indiana home?  If you don’t use a house sitter you can still put a hold on your mail and newspaper service while you’re away.
  2. Nosy Neighbor.  If you don’t have pets and plants, or are not planning on spending the extra money on a house sitter, why not take advantage of that nosy neighbor and have them stop by the house every other day just to, well, stick their nose in your business?  Neighbors can walk the perimeter of the property, make sure newspapers are picked up, flyers are removed from your front door, and otherwise remove any sign that would indicate your family is out of town.  Give them the phone number where you will be staying in case of an emergency, and emphasize the phone number is for emergencies only.  You can catch up on the neighborhood gossip when you get home.
  3. Delayed blogging.  Many don’t think about this one.  If you’re real-time updating all your social networking sites with great photos of your family standing in front of the Grand Canyon you are effectively letting the world know you are not at home.  Save this practice until your return.
  4. Do not leave your GPS in your car unattended!  For many of the same reasons for observing delayed blogging, do not leave your GPS in your car where a potential burglar can see it.  What better invitation for a thief than a GPS unit programmed with your home address on the dashboard of a car with an out of state license plate, or parked at long term airport parking?

Here are more tips to keep your home safe while you’re away.