How to lock up the house for the summer
With Easter Sunday coming up this weekend, that means a lot of neighbors are headed back up north. But before that happens, it’s important to secure homes right away.
We looked at ways to make sure homes are safe.
Perfectly manicured, set on a beautiful Cape Coral canal, Chris Helms has his own piece of paradise. But he’s leaving soon and will go through the process of packing and locking up for summer.
“We have the neighbors’ phone numbers,” Helms said. “Everyone kinds of watches out for each other. It works out really good, and it’s a nice, safe neighborhood.”
But no neighborhood is impenetrable. So Susan Aiken, a retired special agent, walked around with Helms, and we accompanied them too, looking for vulnerabilities at Helms’ home.
“Everyone knows, if they are interested in going into someone’s house, they can tell by watching it,” Aiken said. “And you are more of a target in the summer because of the snowbird season.”
- Make sure all windows and doors are secure
- Secure boats that stay docked at home
“Well, obviously people do come along and steal engines,” Aiken said. “If you can put a lock on your outboard boat, or on your boat itself, you want to be sure to do that.”
Don’t forget about doorbell cameras. They can help you keep an eye on a house while a homeowner is back up north. Not only can you see who comes to the door, you can interact with them from anywhere. Aiken doesn’t have the technology, so she also has her own personal ways to secure her home when she is not there.
“We close all our drapes and our blinds,” Aiken said. “You don’t want the potential for anyone to be peeking in day after day. And see anything where they may want to come back at a later day and use your house as a target for burglary.”
- Timers for lamps can very be effective.
“And when you do your timers, make sure you have some set at different times,” Aiken said. “So the burglars don’t see it come on at 7 o’clock every night.”
Other tips include:
- Make sure the lawn is taken care
- Stop mail or forward it
- Contact local law enforcement; a lot of them will do courtesy checks while homeowners are away
Local agencies that perform home checks:
- Cape Coral Police Department: Vacation House Checks
- Collier County Sheriff’s Office: Request Extra Patrol
- LCSO: 10 Security Tips for Vacationers