Keeping Your Home Safe

Listen to the radio for five minutes, and you'll likely hear them – the advertisements for $500, $600, even $1,000 security systems that boast thermal night-vision, Indiana Jones-style arrow traps, and even do your taxes. They're flashy, extravagant, and expensive, but do they really do a better job of keeping your home safe?
It'll always be a priority to keep your home as secure as possible. It's to protect all of your possessions, but more importantly, it's to protect your family. It may seem worth it to spend thousands of dollars for a security system for that reason alone, but oftentimes they aren't the best solutions. Here are several affordable ways you can keep your home, and the people in it, as safe as you can:
Watch your web activity
If you're planning on taking a long vacation, consider not sharing that information on the web, especially popular social media sites. When you post something on the Internet, it's there for everyone to see – including criminals. Bragging that you'll be in Bermuda for 10 days is simply giving someone a reason to stop by your home and relieve you of your TV, laptop, and jewelry.
Tip off the police and local neighborhood watch
Your local police force is there to protect you, believe it or not, and if you're going to be gone for an extended period of time it can't hurt to ask for a little help. If they can, they will put your home on the route of their general patrol to deter any possible criminals. Similarly, inform your neighborhood watch (if there is one) that you'll be gone, and ask for them to help keep an eye on your home. As a neighbor, they'll likely be glad to help.
Stop your mail and paper delivery
A common way that criminals will determine if a home is empty or not is to check for a backlog of mail or newspapers in your driveway. Avoid giving them this information by temporarily stopping mail and paper service – it'll look like you're checking for both on a regular basis.
Unplug it
This will protect you from a different kind of danger, but when your appliances are plugged in for an extended period of time, they are subject to power surges. A bad power surge will permanently damage the item, and a really bad one could even start a fire. Don't take your chances – take the extra 5 minutes before you leave and unplug all your major appliances.

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