Hamilton, NJ –– Whether you’re jet-setting across the seas or taking a “stay-cation” nearby, AAA Mid-Atlantic has tips to make your vacation fun-filled and stress-free. Before heading off to that dream vacation, keep in mind summertime can be a peak season for home break-ins, warns AAA Mid-Atlantic. Experts say “in the rush to get ready for vacation, home security is often forgotten.”
Many residential burglaries transpire in the summer months and the majority occur in broad daylight, when the occupants are at work or away. Since burglars see vacations as an opportunity to target empty homes, it’s important to take necessary precautions to enjoy your time away, advises AAA Insurance.
“Vacations require preparation and planning,” said Sue Madden, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Just as you ensure all your items are packed for a relaxing time away, it’s also important to protect your home and keep your possessions safe.”
It’s the heartbreak of housebreaks. In 2014, there were more than 31,000 reported burglaries in the state of New Jersey according to the State Police website.
In New Jersey, where burglary is classified as “breaking or entering,” homes were the targets 76 percent of the time during 2014. Stolen property, as a result of residential burglary statewide, amounted to nearly $25 million, for an average loss of $2,278.
To prevent your home from becoming a burglary statistic, AAA offers advice to follow before going away on vacation this summer.
Tips to protect your home while you’re away:
- Lock up. Dead-bolt window and door locks are the first line of defense to secure your home, since they can slow burglars down and may deter them entirely. Check with your insurance agent for a discount on these devices.
- Use an alarm. Invest in an effective burglar alarm that alerts the police, fire department and other emergency services. Check with your insurance agent for a discount on alarm systems.
- Disconnect computers. Make sure any personal information on your computer is difficult to access. Disconnect your electronic devices from the Internet to prevent hackers.
- Keep your valuables locked and well-hidden. Expensive jewelry, electronic devices and other valuables should be hidden from plain view and placed in safe lock boxes.
- Make your home look inhabited. Use timers to turn lights on and off. Temporarily stop newspaper deliveries and arrange to have your mail picked up or held by the post office. An unkempt lawn is also an indicator to burglars that you are away; hire a lawn service to maintain your yard if you will be gone for an extended period of time.
- Tell someone you trust. Ask a dependable neighbor, friend or family to keep an eye on your home while you’re away. Alerting the local police will also add a level of security.
- Use discretion. Avoid discussing your vacation plans in public places such as at the grocery store or at your local café. Although vacations are exciting, try not to post about it on social media; someone may see your posts and target your home while you’re away.
- Create a home inventory. In the event that you do need to file a claim, preparing a home inventory of your possessions beforehand will help make the process easier.
- Check your insurance policy. In case you experience theft or damage to your property, ensure that you have the coverage you need.
To find out more about homeowners, condo, or renters insurance, call your AAA agent or (888) 222-0086 to see what discounts you may be eligible for and what type of coverage you might need.