Written by Maile Timon
If you have epic summer travel plans, you’ve probably taken the necessary steps to prepare for your trip. You’ve planned your itinerary, gathered the necessary documents and packed your bags. You’ve probably even done research on your destination to make sure you’re prepared for the most common safety threats and travel scams. As you prepare to head out of town, however, don’t forget to take the necessary steps to secure your apartment while you’re gone. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, burglaries are 10.5% more common during the summer than the winter. Follow these five tips to keep your apartment safe so you can enjoy a worry-free summer vacation.
Arm Your Apartment
You may not think an alarm system is necessary in an apartment, but according to Safeguard the World, homes without security systems are up to 300% more likely to be broken into. Burglars don’t care if it’s a home or apartment if they see an easy target. Install a wireless security system. The new models let you pick and choose components like door alarms and motion detectors. Since your apartment likely has less rooms than a house, you can save money on equipment and installation and maintenance fees.
No matter which components you choose, put your alarm system sign in a noticeable location so a potential burglar knows what he’s up against.
Don’t Post Your Vacation Plans on Social Media
As tempting as it may be to share your vacation plans on your social networks, try to avoid this. You may be excited about your trip to paradise, but when you share this info with your social network, you let everyone know your apartment is vacant.
Wait until you’re back home and then share your vacation photos online. “Sharing settings are not foolproof and with new security updates it’s always hard to tell what’s public and what’s private,” according to Erin Raub from Safety. “Stay on the safe side, and don’t mention your trip – until you’re back, with tales to tell and photos to upload!”
Set Your Lights
An effective safety strategy is to keep up appearances while you’re away. This means, try to make it seem like someone is still home. It will look out of the ordinary if you leave your lights on or off the entire time your gone. Instead, set your lights on timers to switch them on or off. Make sure you set them to go off at random times, however, if your lights turn on and off at the exact same time everyday, it’s not too hard to figure out they’re automated.
Ask a Neighbor to Collect Your Mail and Newspapers
Hopefully you know at least one of your neighbors well enough to ask them to help out while you’re gone. Ask them to pick up your mail and newspapers. “As surprising as it may be, experienced criminals keep an eye on mailboxes,” according to home security experts from Phoenix Lockmaster. “Several days of mail in a box is a good signal that the occupants of a possible target home are out of town.”
You can also ask your neighbor to keep an eye on your place while you’re gone. Give him or her a spare key (if you feel comfortable) so they can get into your apartment if need be. Leave your contact information so they can call you in the event of an emergency.
Lock Up and Double Check
When you leave for your trip, you may be in a rush to get out of town. Despite your excitement, do a walkthrough of your apartment and make sure all your doors and windows are secure. Believe it or not, 32% of burglaries are through an unlocked door.
If you want more protection, you can change the locks to something stronger or try switching to a smart lock. Just make sure you check with your landlord before you make any changes to your doors or locks.
Follow these security tips to protect your apartment and your valuables. Wherever you’re headed this summer; have fun and be safe!
About the Author:
Maile Timon is a professional blogger and content editor. She writes about lifestyle and family, health and fitness, education, business, how to and more. Maile earned her Bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism from Chapman University. When she’s not writing, she enjoys hiking in San Diego, CA.