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Summer vacation season is here. The long needed and anticipated break from the daily grind is about to materialize. As you begin to compile your list of items to pack, take a moment to also make a list of things to leave behind. Specifically, consider things to make your home to appear as though you are not away.

Among the most obvious ways to announce your absence is newspapers and mail piling up. Either have these held during your trip or make arrangements for any arriving papers and mail, along with door circulars or packages, to be retrieved daily.

Another telling sign of an unoccupied house is an overgrown lawn. Plan to have your grass cut, and bushes and plants tended to, while you are away. A periodic running sprinkler will also help to mask your absence. Additionally, if your garbage service involves curbside pickup, have a neighbor roll a can or two out and put back after pickup, whether or not there is trash inside.

Inside the home, installing timers on lamps is always a good idea. Set them strategically: they should come on and go off in different areas at varying times. And don’t forget the outside lights. A well-lit exterior is one of your best deterrents. If you cannot program them to turn on, have a neighbor do so or just leave them on.

To prevent would-be burglars from viewing inside the home, adjust or close window blinds. Where there are windows with no blinds, leaving items in view such as an open book with reading glasses; a plate, wadded napkin, and eating utensils beside a glass of water; or a basket of clothing next to some folded shirts, can give the appearance of occupancy. And an interactive, camera equipped doorbell that gives you the ability to see and address whoever rings it will usually discourage thieves.

Many homes now have smart security systems that enable cameras and light controls to be monitored and controlled by a smartphone. However, do not become overly confident in your ability to have uninterrupted control or real-time access. Have a backup plan, and notify the monitoring company in advance about your travel. And if a trusted friend or neighbor will be entering the home, provide the name to the company in case of an unintended alarm trigger.
Finally, notify your local law enforcement of your vacation schedule and request extra patrols in your absence. And just to be safe, place jewelry and other small valuables in a safe deposit box or secure hiding spot.

For more recommendations about vacation security, or to have a comprehensive vulnerability assessment conducted at your home or business, call the specialists of ResultQuest at 713-781-9040. We will put our decades of expertise to work to identify and rectify your weak points.