On Vacation? These Things Will Help Keep Your Home Safe
Going south during the cold season (and lets face it, in Edmonton, Alberta where Select Security is based, that’s 6 months of the year), we see friends, family, and neighbours give a lot of thought to where they’re going for vacation, arranging for childcare, pet care, travel insurance, and researching the best prices on fares, hotels, and attractions but little or no attention paid to properly safeguarding their home for while they’re gone.
Before you go on vacation, we would like you to consider the following list of ‘look fors’ that criminals may see in your house when you’re on vacation.
The easiest to scope out on a casual drive around the neighbourhood are what are known as occupancy cues – does your house have lights that go on and off at certain times? Are your papers and mail collected or sitting vacant? In the right season, are there tire tracks or foot prints in the snow? Is the walk shovelled? Any of these cues that are amiss may prompt a would-be criminal to target your house more closely. Tip: Make sure that that the obvious aspects of your lighting are automated, and someone stops by on a regular basis to shovel and collect your mail.
Dressed as service personnel or a door-to-door salesperson, the criminal has an easy cover to check out your home more closely. He or she is looking for interior occupancy cues like pets, breakfast dishes in the sink, and whether the television is on or the paper is open on the coffee table. From this closer vantage point, the would-be criminal can ascertain whether doors and windows present easy access to your home, whether they’re concealed from view from the street, and possible escape routes. Tip: Make sure your doors and windows look and feel secure, and are tightly locked. Trim back close-growing shrubbery, and make sure that trusted neighbours know that you’re away and not expecting any service personnel.
In disguise, he or she can quickly scout for hidden keys, and subtly try doors and windows in order to test your home’s perimeter. He or she is assessing whether or not you have an alarm system and/or surveillance cameras to protect your home. Tip: Even a minimal alarm system with appropriate advertising works to deter criminals from your property. Contact the team at Select Security in order to discuss a solution that fits your budget, lifestyle, and premises.
Around the side of your home, the criminal is looking for other clues about you and the occupants of your home. While most criminals are after an easy theft of valuables that can be easily sold, he or she has made an investment in approaching your property and as such, is looking for every available scrap of information about you and your life. Expect criminals to sift through your paper garbage, try to tap into your wifi, and try the phone number that your home is listed under. A casual address search on the internet may bring up floor plans or old MLS listings, giving clues to layout and valuables. With this information, the would-be criminal can check out other information online – schools, social media, professional engagements or work, and out of office email replies and possible phone numbers with revealing messages. Tip: Treat your electronic information and discarded paper waste with just as much care as your premises in order to avoid giving information away.
Finally, if you’re really uneasy about vacationing away from your home, call Select Security at (780)451-8067 or email us in order to find a security system that is right for your home and budget.