The last thing you want on vacation is a phone call from the police notifying you of a burglary. The most common burglary crime is theft. Burglary could rob your household of thousands of dollars’ worth of belongings. It could also shatter your family’s assumptions of safety and privacy in Great Falls. No one wants to come home to destroyed or stolen property. It may be possible to prevent a home burglary while you are away with a few preemptive safety measures.
Most homeowners do not know how long their locks have been on their doors. The locks may be old, outdated or faulty. They could also match keys floating around from previous homeowners, babysitters and dog walkers. Replacing old locks could improve the security of your home. Equip the main doors to your home with deadbolts to decrease the odds of a burglar being able to pick the lock or kick your door down. Invest in high-quality locks for the best reliability. Refrain from using a hide-a-key, as a criminal could find your hiding spot and walk right in.
In 2017, 20.6 per 1,000 households in the U.S. reported burglaries, according to a National Crime Victimization Survey. About 30% of burglars enter homes without forcing entry simply by crawling through unlocked windows and or using open doors. Locking your windows could be enough to send a burglar searching for an easier target elsewhere. Before you leave on vacation, double-check the locks on every window, including skylights. If your windows do not have adequate locks, consider upgrading them before you leave. Also lock all doors, including your garage door.
Modern-day security systems have features that can give you peace of mind while on vacation. Install a comprehensive system that can connect a live video feed to your smartphone and instantly alert you of any issues. The ability to check in on your home visually can give you a worry-free getaway.
Display signs and stickers prominently around your home to notify potential burglars that your property has an advanced security system. Police only catch a small percentage of burglars. Security cameras that record and save footage remotely or in the cloud could help the police catch a suspect should a burglary occur.
Do your best to make it look like you are still home. Leave a few lights on or toys out in the yard, as if your dog or child was recently playing with them. If you have an automated system controlling your lights, set them to turn on and off a few times throughout the day. Keep exterior lights on for added security, especially if your security cameras need them to get a better shot of trespassers.
Employ the help of a neighbor you trust while you are away. Ask your neighbor to stop by a few times a week to check on the house, water plants, gather packages from the porch, check the mail, turn lights on, etc. The activity at your home could drive criminals away. If something does happen, your neighbor can notify you of the burglary before you return. You could send police to your house to investigate while you are still on vacation, rather than coming home to find signs of a break-in that may have happened days ago.
Burglars are often people the homeowners knew. Keep your vacation plans to yourself before embarking. Do not brag about your upcoming vacation to your coworkers, friends or people in your neighborhood. Do not talk about it on social media. Wait until you are back home to post vacation photos, so you do not tip off potential criminals. Keep the trip quiet until you have returned home. Giving the exact dates you will be away on vacation could be just the information someone needs to decide to make you a victim.