AAA reminds travelers to safeguard homes before vacations
By AAA of Western and Central New York
2023 summer travel is setting new records. Take, for example, AAA’s projection of 50.7 million Independence Day travelers or TSA’s record passenger counts that were recently reported at U.S. airports. For vacations near or far, AAA is sharing tips with travelers to keep homes safe while they’re away.
According to the FBI, home burglaries increase in the summer months, since burglars see vacations as an opportunity to target empty homes, and renters are more likely to be robbed than homeowners. Before heading out for vacation, travelers should take a few moments to safeguard their home and their possessions. AAA suggests taking these steps:
√ Make it time-consuming to break into your home. Research suggests that, if burglars think it will take more than four or five minutes to break into a home, they will move on. Check outside doors and frames to ensure they are strong and made of metal or thick hardwood. Use dead-bolts on windows and doors, which can slow burglars down or deter them entirely.
√ Invest in an effective burglar alarm and/or exterior cameras that, when triggered, alerts you, the police, fire department and other emergency services. Check with your insurance agent about possible alarm system discounts.
√ Disconnect computers and other electronic devices from the internet to prevent hackers from gaining access to your information. Make sure personal information on your computer is difficult to access.
√ Keep valuables locked up and out of sight. Expensive jewelry, electronic devices and other high-value items should be hidden from plain view and placed in 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.
√ Ask a dependable neighbor, friend or family member to keep an eye on your home while you’re away.
√ 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 them 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 make the process easier.
√ Check your insurance policy to ensure that you have the coverage you need in case you experience theft or damage to your property.
To find out more about renters or homeowners insurance, call AAA to see what discounts you may be eligible for and what type of coverage you might need.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 862,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.