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Homes | Vacation security

Keep your home safe while you're on vacation

Vacations are meant to be escapes from the stresses of your daily routine. So don't let small worries fester just enough to ruin your much-deserved getaway. Taking the necessary precautions to protect your home while you're away will let you rest easier. Rushing out the door to begin enjoying a vacation can cause people to overlook several easy ways to ensure their homes will be protected. StatePoint

Stop the presses

A pile of newspapers on the front lawn isn't the signal you want to send to would-be robbers. Temporarily halting newspaper delivery will avoid this problem. Many newspapers let you initiate a vacation stop online. A few seconds of work can save you an unnecessary headache.

Do the simple things

That prevacation rush can make anybody scatterbrained. Don't forget the seemingly obvious precautions. Check all doors and windows to make sure they're locked, and draw blinds and curtains. While you're at it, check that appliances like the stove, curling iron and coffeemaker haven't been left on.

If you're looking for an extra element of security, disable your garage door opener to make sure nobody gets in through the garage.

Watch the house while away

Nothing beats keeping an eye on things yourself. A few well-placed videocameras that connect to the Internet let you view your home while away. This used to be a costly undertaking, involving bulky cameras and complicated installation. These days, companies are producing small high-quality Internet-enabled security cameras.

These new types of cameras come with built-in microphones and secure online connectivity that enables you to watch your home from anywhere. And their special sensors identify sound, motion and body heat, sending alerts to your phone or computer with a photograph when any sensor is triggered.

"The next best thing to watching your home in person is watching it via network cameras that alert you if anything happens," says Bill Taylor, president of Panasonic System Networks Company of America, which produces small Internet-enabled security cameras. "When you go on vacation you can keep on an eye on your property so you don't worry about what's happening back home."

Talk to the locals

Talk to neighbors about keeping an eye on your home. But if they are unavailable, there are alternatives. Many police departments offer a vacation watch in which they'll check on your house. If you have a neighborhood watch program, consider approaching it so those on patrol are aware your home might be vulnerable.

Keep your home safe while you're on vacation 06/07/10 [Last modified: Monday, June 7, 2010 4:02pm]
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