What would certainly ruin your wonderful Disney trip? It would be returning home only to find your house burglarized. I have returned home to find all my good jewelry stolen, mainly because I left it in plain sight. Would-be robbers watch neighborhoods to spot an easy target. Here is a list of some common sense things you can easily do to ward off prospective robbers.
1. The greatest expense, but long lasting protection, would be to Install a home security system that actually sounds an alarm when doors or windows are tampered with. Give the security company the name of someone you have asked to watch the house while you are away.
2. Contact your local police to notify them of your absence and give them what information they may require, especially if your trip is a week or more. They are able to schedule a drive-by’s to keep an eye on your place.
3. Have a trusted friend or family member visit the house frequently or stay over as a house sitter. This is especially helpful if you are leaving a pet behind. A barking dog inside the house is a great deterrent to people scoping out your home. Give the house sitter or family member the details of where you are staying, as well as your cell phone number.
4. Tell your neighbors when you are leaving and when you expect to return. Make sure you return the favor when they travel in the future. If there is a Neighborhood Watch in your area, alert them.
5. Leave outside and inside lights on a timer and have them turn on and off throughout the day and night
6. Have someone move the car or cars into different positions in the driveway. If you have driven your own car to Disney, ask a neighbor to park an extra car at your house for a few days.
7. Have someone cut the grass if it will need attention before you return.
8. Do NOT remove your kid’s toys from the yard. Let your house look lived in.
9. We all know to stop the newspaper and mail. Or the person watching over your house can collect these items on a daily basis. If trash pickup is scheduled during your absence, ask a neighbor to take your trash can out to the curb.
10. Leave a radio or television playing to create noise.
11. If you have guns, jewelry, important papers like passports or other valuables, consider a hidden safe or take these items somewhere else for safekeeping.
12. Unplug electrical appliances to protect against surges during a lightening storm and any other electrical items that might cause a fire. Don’t forget to unplug the garage door.
13. Do Not leave a door key under the mat or in the flowerpot. Even I could get into your house! All spare keys must be removed.
14. If you are traveling with a family member who uses a handicapped ramp attached to your house, pay particular attention to having activity going on while you are away. Robbers prey on handicapped individual’s houses.
15. Attention all Facebook fans. Please refrain from publishing to the world your excitement about going to Disney and leaving home for 8 glorious days. Also do not post photos or tweet during the trip. You can do this when you return to your “home sweet home” finding it the same as when you left. Your friends are most-likely trustworthy but you never know who might overhear them talking about your vacation.
16. Complete a last minute walk-around check of all windows and doors to be certain all are securely locked and bolted properly.
17. TIP: Right before you close the door and head to the car, make sure everybody picked up the bags that have been sitting by the door ready to go!
Being aware of this aspect of a well planned trip to Disney, or anywhere, will give you more peace of mind and go a long way to keeping back home as safe as possible. Be sure to pick up a little something for friends and neighbors that helped keep your home safe until your return!