Archive for Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Five questions: A worry-free trip

Making sure dead-bolt locks are installed is one part of protecting your home while you're on vacation, but safety measures should go beyond simply locking up.

Making sure dead-bolt locks are installed is one part of protecting your home while you're on vacation, but safety measures should go beyond simply locking up.

July 25, 2012, 3:12 a.m.

Updated: July 25, 2012, 3:12 a.m.

You’ve waited all year to take a summer vacation — so make sure it’s not ruined by a burglary back home. Below, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt shares advice on protecting your home while away.

Q: On a basic level, how should I keep intruders out of my home?

A: Make sure everything is locked and secure before heading out on your excursion. If you do not have dead-bolt locks, have them installed by a professional. Make sure your home security system is working properly.

Q: How can I avoid drawing attention to the fact that we’re out of town?

A: Be cautious of whom you tell about your vacation. It’s OK to let a trusted neighbor know when and where you are going, but be careful telling others. One comment or post on a social networking site could lead to problems. Don’t risk it.

Q: What about the house’s appearance?

A: Many folks hire “house sitters” these days. This is a great way to make sure your house continues to look lived-in while you’re gone. Also, invest in some quality light timers, and ask someone to water your plants and keep the yard mowed.

Q: What if a burglary happens anyway? What else can I do?

A: Keep valuables in a safe deposit box, consider using your phone to keep a video diary of your belongings, and keep a record of serial numbers for electronics and other valuables.

Q: Any other tips?

A: Have outdoor motion-sensor lights installed; ask a trusted neighbor to collect your mail and newspapers or even park in your driveway; turn your home phone’s ringer off, as an unanswered phone might tip off a prowler that no one is home.

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