Vacation security to avoid home insurance claim

Home security tips when you go on vacation
Home security tips when you go on vacation © Goodluz/

Millions of homeowners will pack up the family and head off on holiday road trips. Others are flying across the country to visit winter vacation spots or loved ones.

And, as the weather turns colder, snowbirds are locking up their homes and leaving for a few months in a more pleasant clime.

Whenever you choose to get away, your pre-trip preparations should include home security measures, so you won't leave the family's most expensive possession -- your home -- vulnerable to burglars.

A few simple steps can mitigate the risk of a break-in -- and a home insurance claim, says Lynne McChristian, Florida representative for the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group.

"Do everything possible to make yourself a lousy target for thieves," she says.

How? By following this list of five things to check before leaving home.

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When you go away on vacation, you might inadvertently hand thieves a ticket to steal from you while you're away. Be sure to add home security measures to your vacation checklist.

You don't want your home announcing to the world that you're out of town, so be sure to stop mail and newspaper deliveries to keep junk mail and unread papers from piling up outside your door.

On the other hand, you do want to tell neighbors and the police. The people next door can keep an eye on things and report any suspicious activity.

And police often have a "vacation check" program and will have officers make random stops to see if anything appears to be amiss at your property.

Try all doors and windows before you leave to be certain they're locked and secure. Prune low-hanging tree branches outside that might give thieves access to your home's second floor. And if you have a burglar alarm, test it so that you know it's working -- and don't forget to set it when you go.



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