How to Avoid Becoming a Crime Victim If You Travel a Lot

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Do you love to travel to faraway destinations? Whether you’re a frequent vacationer or are always heading out of town for business meetings, spending a lot of your time away from your home poses unique security challenges. In general, thieves prefer to break into a home when they will have a lot of time inside. When the home is occupied every night of the week, it is safer than a home left vacant for several weeks. Far too many frequent fliers leave clues behind to let criminals know that they won’t be returning quickly. If you travel often, now is the time to protect your home.

If you’re like many travelers, the days before your departure are filled with finishing last-minute work and packing your bags, not worrying about someone breaking into your home while you’re gone. Even if you’re eager to leave town to start your weekend or make a meeting across the country, take the time to schedule services to be begun or halted. Have your mail and newspaper delivery paused while you aren’t there. Criminals have long known to check the mailbox and notice the stack of newspapers piling up. Both show that you haven’t been home in days. The same goes for a sidewalk that hasn’t been shoveled after a snowfall, or grass that clearly hasn’t been mowed in weeks.

Your home holds many other clues to your frequent travels. Savvy criminals will notice when a car’s not there. Gone for weeks? Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway every couple of weeks to make it look like someone’s home. Frequent travelers should consider installing timer-activated controls on their lights and TV, which also serve to make your home looked lived-in.

Always set your home’s security system before departing. Of course, you should be using door and window alarms every day, but this is especially important if you’ll be gone for an extended period. Burglars who break in to find that no alarms start blaring will be more likely to spend a lot of time in the house, emptying out all of your valuable possessions rather than just grabbing the first few expensive items they see. Consider adding extra security in the form of surveillance cameras, dog barking alarms, and other home security features.

Though alarms and security systems are certainly valuable security features, they are not the only thing you can do to ensure that crimes around your home are caught in a timely manner. Always alert friends or family to your plans, no matter how frequently you’re coming and going. Make sure the neighbors know, since they will probably be the first ones to notice if something’s amiss. If they don’t know that no one is home, they might not think anything’s wrong when they see a burglar carting electronics and other possessions out of your home.

Home security should be on the forefront of everyone’s mind. This is especially true if you spend a lot of time traveling. If you’re constantly gone, think about the message you are sending potential burglars. Take the necessary steps to make your empty home less attractive to these criminals.