Many people own BVI VACATION homes, that they leave empty and without supervision for days, weeks or months at a time. Here are a few tips on how to safeguard your home for both short and long absences.

1. A property which presents a “lived-in” appearance is a deterrent to criminals. Never leave notes that may inform a thief that your property is unoccupied. Ensure all windows and doors are locked securely before departing. An empty garage promotes your absence, so ensure you close and lock the door.

2. When heading out at night, leave a number of interior lights on and maybe leave a radio playing. You can purchase timer switches which will turn on and off during your absence. This is an excellent idea not just for an evening out, but for extended periods away too.

3. Don’t leave door keys under flower pots or doormats, in a unlocked mailbox, on top of the door frame, or any other obvious places.

4. Stop deliveries of milk, newspapers or other services by telephone or personally before leaving. Request lawn or landscape care to continue, and also have someone remove advertising circulars along with other items regularly. Toys or yard tools scattered about can create the illusion of occupancy.

5. Inform the post office to forward your mail, or ask a reliable friend to collect it regularly. Full mail boxes are a real giveaway that nobody is home, either in condo complexes or detached houses.

6. Inform neighbors of your impending absence so that they can be extra alert for suspicious persons. If you can. Leave a key with them so that they can inspect your house intermittently. If you cannot ask your neighbors, request that a friend stop by every now and then. Ask them to alter the positions of your blinds and curtains and turn on different lights in the home.

7. Whenever you leave, don’t publicize your plans. Some criminals focus on reading through newspaper accounts of peoples vacation activities. This includes blogging or posting on your internet sites that you’re leaving.

8. If you discover a window or door continues has been forced or damaged when you were away, don’t enter. The criminal may be inside. Use a neighbors phone immediately to summon police.

9. Don’t touch anything or cleanup if a crime has happened. Preserve the scene until police inspect for evidence.

10. Remember to:

*Lock before leaving

*Trust a neighbor or friend with a key

*Be a concerned neighbor and offer to watch out for others while they are away

No one really wants to invite crime, so simply take a couple of precautions and you’ll prevent a break-in.