Remind Your Residential Clients to Beef Up Security Before Leaving for Vacation

With vacation season here, now is the time to advocate improved security to your residential clients. Imagine returning home from a European tour to find no TV, VCR, DVD, stereo, jewelry and silverware. Data from the Insurance Information Institute shows that the average loss to consumers in a burglary is $1,500. These losses compound into some $3 billion annually. You can help your customers avoid becoming a target.

Here are some tips for your newsletter or Web site:

If you are away more than a week, have someone mow your lawn; an unkempt lawn is often taken as a sign that no one is home.

Have someone pick up your mail and newspapers. Have deliveries stopped or routed to family or a neighbor.

Don’t leave a hidden key outside your house. Burglars know the usual hiding places.

Make sure all outside doors have deadbolts to secure them.

Put timers on multiple lights around the house to simulate the activity of someone who is home. Lights should not all be set to turn on and off at the same time. (Note: This might be a good time to advocate an integrated lighting system.)

Move computers, stereos and TVs out of view from windows. Front windows shouldn’t offer burglars window shopping opportunities.

Take an inventory of valuables such as jewelry in case something does occur. Keep a copy of the inventory somewhere other than at home.

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