Foil burglars when you're on vacation
It pays to take a few easy steps to secure your home
By Morgan Murphy
Have someone pick up your mail and newspapers, or suspend the service until you get home.
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(Southern Living) -- Nothing kills all the extra sleep and relaxation you got on vacation like returning home to fill out a police report and meet with a claims adjuster.
My best advice? Find a house sitter, or at least a neighbor or friend, to check the property every day or so. Just be sure it is someone you trust (you'll also want to avoid any unplanned frat parties).
You also might consider taking high-value items such as jewelry, silver or that prized Hummel collection to a family member's house for safekeeping. That way, the only thing you'll have to worry about on vacation is which margarita to order. Good luck out there.
Despite Hollywood's depiction of them, thieves tend to be dense, lazy and cowardly. If you're guarding against a break-in by "Ocean's Eleven" stars Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon, you've gone too far. So while you might think burglars would see right through the old lights-on-a-timer routine, chances are they won't.
What you want to create in the mind of the cat man is a bit of uncertainty. Get them thinking things such as: "Is that person home?" "Did someone just turn on that light?" "Does the house have an alarm?" "Will the neighbors spot me?" "Will anything worth stealing be inside?" "Does Fang bite?"
Buy inexpensive light timers. (Make up for the wasted electricity by turning up the AC and setting your hot water heater to "vacation.") Even if you don't have a security system, buy a sign and stick it in the yard. Tell your neighbors you'll be out of town, and give them a hotel or cell number where you can be reached.
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