Five questions: A worry-free trip
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.