12/18/2012 10:17 PM

Tips on Protecting Your Home While You're Away

Vacations are fun, but they may be costly if you fail to secure your home while you are away.  Burglars see this as an opportunity to target empty homes. There are over 2 million burglaries each year, mostly residential.

Here are five preventative steps to keep your home safe:
~Dead-bold window and door locks to help slow a burglar down.  You may also receive a discount on your insurance policy for installing these devices.
~Invest in a burglar alarm.  An alarm system can result in an insurance discount.
~Make sure you have strong doors.  Outside doors and frames should be made of metal or solid hardwood and be at least 1 ¾ - inches thick.  Garage doors also need strong locks.
~If you save personal information on your computer, make sure it’s difficult to access.
~Keep valuables locked and well hidden.  Don’t leave personal documents in your desk since burglars know to look for them there.  Expensive jewelry should be hidden somewhere other than the bedroom or left in a safety deposit box at the bank.

Follow these steps as you are ready to leave for vacation:
~Keep your home well lit.  Put indoor lights on a timer so it appears that somebody is home.
~Make the house look inhabited by leaving blinds open in their usual position.
~Arrange to have mail picked by a trusted neighbor or held by the post office.
~Ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your house while you are gone.
~Only tell people you know and trust that you are going away.

Homeowners’ insurance policies provide coverage for the theft of personal items and damage to the home cause by a break-in.  With replacement cost coverage, damaged property is replaced without deducting for depreciation.


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