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5 tips to protect your primary residence while you’re away

By Mason White 1:08 PM April 3, 2014
Lock securing house illustration 

By: Anika Rao
You’re getting ready to head to your lake house or cabin, maybe for the weekend or maybe for the month.

The car is packed, the kids are ready, even Fido is looking forward to it. One last thing—have you taken the steps to secure the home you’re leaving?

If you regularly leave town for a getaway haven, follow these tips to help protect your primary residence. No one wants to return home to discover it’s been broken into while they were away.

Get a Housesitter

One of the best ways to protect your home is to leave it occupied. Talk to friends and family to see if anyone is interested in housesitting while you’re gone. Not only does this reduce your home’s vulnerability, it will be helpful if a maintenance issue pops up, such as a burst pipe.

Switch out Front Doors

If you have a front door with a mail slot, consider changing it. Some savvy burglars use devices to grab easily accessible keys through the mail slot. Swap out these weak points in your home’s defenses with new doors, so you don’t come home to a ransacked house. Let your neighbors know when you’re leaving, so they can keep an eye out for anyone who shouldn’t be hanging around your property.

Watch What You Post on Social Media

Don’t post on social media about your upcoming trip—it’s like putting a big “rob me” sign on your door. Be careful with the information you share publicly, and only share it with your friends list, not friends of friends. Make sure your home address isn’t accessible to people not on your friends list. Sign out of your account and look at your profile how it appears to those not on your friends list. Adjust the privacy settings to the strictest one available, and don’t post about your vacation until you return.

Consider a Home Security System

Keep some electronic eyes on your home with a complete home security system that calls the police if it detects any intrusions. The mere fact you have a security system installed is often enough to deter would-be thieves. Some systems also turn lights off and on to make the house look like it’s occupied, and app-controlled systems enable you to do so while you’re miles away.

Have the Proper Insurance Coverage

You can take all the precautions in the world, but nothing is fool-proof. You could still end up getting hit by a burglar, so make sure you have solid insurance coverage—not all homeowners insurance covers the complete contents of your home. Check your insurance policy for your coverage details or request information from an insurer like The Hartford to find out the best insurance options for your particular situation.