It’s that time of year again!  Summer is here, and people are leaving town for summer vacations.  And, unfortunately, it’s also the perfect time to be a victim of burglary and theft.  Review and follow the tips below to help keep your home safe while you’re away.


If you have a home alarm system, use it.  Many people get in the habit of not setting an alarm when they leave the home; however, it is one of the best deterrents for criminals.


The key is to make your home appear lived in.  A simple way to achieve this goal — investing in light timers.  Retailers, such as Lowe’s, Target, and Walmart, sell inexpensive light timers.  You set the timers at intervals (for instance, early morning and evening), and the lights attached to the timer will automatically turn on and off.  Make sure you place light timers in strategic locations near windows, so it appears someone is home and turning lights on and off.


Remove all spare keys outside of your home.  The plastic rock isn’t fooling anyone, and the hide-a-key in the grill isn’t safe.  Criminals can easily access your home with a spare key; it makes their job a lot easier.


With the digital age, people are sharing more and more with their “friends” list and the general public.  Regardless of how secure your list may be, we recommend not disclosing your location or the fact you’re not at home to anyone on social media (or blogs, etc.).  There’s plenty of time to post all of the fun and exciting pictures when you return home.


Ask a neighbor or relative to keep an eye out and report any unusual activity to you.  While they’re looking out, they may water plants, move the trash bin to and from the street, or other tasks to make your home appear lived in.


Nothing screams “I’m out of town” more than piled up newspapers in the driveway or an overflowing mailbox.  Contact your local post office and newspapers to temporarily postpone delivery until you return.