Protect Your Home From Vandalism and Burglary

Fire Damage Cleanup MinneapolisWe recently had a mitigation job come in that was a result of a break in and vandalism. The homeowners were wintering down south and had a family member watching their home. Thankfully this family member checked in when they did.

The vandals turned on all the faucets and left the water running when they left. They also attempted to start a fire by leaving some towels close to the stovetop burners while on. Thankfully in this case, attempting to start a fire was unsuccessful. In my research to write this blog I found out that authorities call this technique by vandals a “slow burn.”

When you go on vacation, or simply leave for work in the morning, the last thing you want to worry about is the security of your home. Visibly empty houses are prime targets for vandalism or break-ins, and the threat is real. According to the FBI, more than 2.1 million burglaries occur in the U.S. nearly every year, with an average $2,100 dollar loss per incident.

Tips to Protect Your Home from Vandalism

By now, you probably know the drill: always lock your doors and windows, stop your mail and newspapers prior to vacations, and put your lights on a timer.  Here are some additional helpful suggestions to prevent you from becoming a victim of a burglary or vandalism:

  • Don’t post your travel plans on social media sites, talk about your trip with casual acquaintances, or leave notes on the front door indicating that you’re not home.
  • Install outdoor lighting (activated by a photocell or movement) to illuminate the area around your home at night.
  • Consider purchasing a security system that directly alerts police to intruders if you live in a higher crime area.
  • Turn down the volume on your answering machine and ringer so that it can’t be heard outside.
  • Leave shades, blinds and curtains in normal positions, but be sure to keep valuables out of sight.
  • Cover the windows in your garage door so no one can see that your car is gone.
  • Trim shrubs and large trees so trespassers have fewer hiding spots.
  • Leave a locked vehicle in your driveway or have your neighbor park there if you go out of town.
  • Ask a family member, friend, neighbor or pay a service to take out your garbage, shovel the walk or mow your lawn.
  • Whenever possible, especially in the winter, make sure to shut your main water valve before you leave for a night or longer. Not only could it possibly help or prevent some of the situation that happened to the homeowner I mentioned above, but it’s a good precautionary step to take to prevent a water damage from a busted (burst pipe) or frozen pipe that may occur when you are gone.

If you or anyone you know should fall victim to vandalism, you can be rest assured that 24Restore’s highly trained property damage restorers can handle everything from the board up to getting your home or business exactly as it was before the tragedy.