Charlotte-area town keeps travelers’ homes safe. Some tips for the rest of us
Going away for the holidays? At least one Charlotte-area town is offering to have police check to see if your home is safe.
The town of Davidson offers home security checks for residents. Just go to the town web site and fill out a form telling the Davidson Police Department how long you’ll be gone, if you have a security system, and if you’ll have lights on. They’ll give your property “special attention” while you’re away.
For cities and towns that don’t offer security checks, you may want a professional service; here's a guide to home security systems. With or without an alarm system, homeowners can take measures inside and outside to keep their homes safe from burglars and hazards, Angie’s List experts say.
Prep the inside
Let’s begin with the age-old question for travelers: Should you leave some indoor lights on to give the impression that someone’s home? Or should keep them off so a burglar isn’t tipped off by seeing a light on through the night?
The answer: Neither. Instead, set some lights on timers, which can be purchased inexpensively at hardware stores. If you have pets at home, put the timers on ceiling lights, not floor lamps, which can be knocked over while on.
Also, if you plan to leave during a cold spell, let a few faucets drip to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Here are tips to prepare your home for a vacation.
Keep the outside clean
A sure sign of a home that’s vacant inside is one that shows vacation messiness outside. That includes days of delivered newspapers or mail – so make sure to suspend delivery before you go.
If snow might be on the way, arrange for friends (or an industrious teenage neighbor) to shovel the driveway and paths while you’re gone. You don’t want to tip off burglars with an unattended yard.
Also, nothing spooks burglars like motion-sensor lighting, and outdoor lights on timers can camouflage a vacation the same as timed indoor lights.
Finally, hold off on those vacation posts on social media. You never know who might learn that you’re away. Here's how your landscaping can repel burglars.