The days are longer, hotter and the schools halls are once again silent and empty. All around sunscreen and pool floats have long since replaced the sweaters and raincoats of fall. As of June 20th, it’s official. Summer is in full effect.
For many, summer represents a time to get away with the family, spend quality time with the kids while they’re out of school and enjoy a good ol’ fashioned family vacation. However, before you throw on your Bermuda shorts and don your sunglasses to head out for some hard earned R&R, remember that you may not be the only one excited about your summer vacation.
According to FBI statistics, the crime rate typically rises approximately 10% during the months of June, July and August. Whether this bump is on account of the scorching heat, criminals’ own lofty vacation plans or an overabundance of idle teens is debatable.
What is clear though is that these numbers provide a sound warning for summer fun seekers; however, it certainly shouldn’t prevent you from making the most of the warmest months of the year.
A Guide to Keeping Safe While Away at Play
Keep in mind these simple tips and stay safe this summer.
Preparing your Property
- Inform a trusted neighbor of your trip and ask them to keep an eye out for any unusual activity.
- Ensure ALL doors and windows are securely locked. Install locks if needed.
- Use a security checklist the day you leave.
- Do not “advertise” your trip on social media or to unfamiliar people
- Consider installing a security system in advance
The Occupied Property illusion
- This strategy essentially attempts to simulate an occupied property in order to reduce the risk of becoming a target. One only needs to make it appear as if someone is home, in order to make their home less appealing to potential burglars.
- Use timers on inside and outside lights
- Hold mail at the Post Office or have someone collect it
- Schedule regular lawn maintenance
- Install motion activated lights, especially near entrances
- Hire a house sitter to inhabit the property or visit often
Ensuring a Safe Stay
Once you’ve covered all the possible issues you can on the home front, remember to use the same common sense and awareness while you are away. Often, theft occurs during a vacation because people are more relaxed than normal and not focused on taking normal safety precautions.
- Use the room or hotel safe in order to store valuables and cash
- Do not leave personal electronics visible in your room or in your bags while out
- Familiarize yourself with the hotel door locks and double check that they are fully secured when you leave
- Secure and lock all windows and balcony doors when away from the room, in the bathroom and at night
- Always use the deadbolt lock while sleeping
- Check online hotel reviews in advance for any possible safety issues
- Keep valuables close to your person, in zipped pockets is possible, especially when in large crowds
- Exercise the same vigilance and awareness you would use while traveling in a large city or foreign country
So remember that while summer is a time for family vacations, backyard barbecues and sandy feet at the beach, it is also a time of increased criminal activity. This increase however does not need to negatively impact your plans this year. Use these tips to protect your home and ensure a fun and safe summer season for the entire family.