Protect Your Home While You are Away

The summer months of July and August have the highest rates of residential burglaries, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That’s because burglars see summer as a time to target empty homes while families are away on vacation.

AAA Hoosier Motor Club spokesman Greg Seiter says locks are the first line of defense to secure a home and adds some insurance agents offer discounts on dead-bolt window and door locks.

He also recommends investing in an effective burglar alarm that alerts the police, fire department and other emergency services. Insurance discounts may also be available for the installation of such devices.

Seiter adds computers should also be disconnected to ensure any personal information is difficult to access. He also recommends disconnecting electronic devices from the internet to prevent hackers from accessing it.

Valuables should be locked up and well-hidden. These include expensive jewelry, electronic devices and other valuables.

One of the best theft deterrents is to make your home look inhabited. That can be done by using timers to turn lights on and off, stopping newspaper and mail delivery or arranging for someone to get items while you are away. Also, hire a lawn service to cut your grass if you plan to be gone for an extended time period.

Ask a dependable and trustworthy neighbor, friend or family member to keep an eye on your home while you are away, and ask the local police department for extra patrols.
Also, avoid discussing vacation plans in public places and do not post about them on social media until you return, as doing so could make you a target for thieves.

Before you leave, create a home inventory to make the claim filing process easier should it be necessary upon your return. Also check your insurance policy to make sure you have adequate coverage against theft or property damage.