Keep your home safe when you're going away

You work all year long to enjoy a vacation. Don't let a phone call about a security breach at your house ruin your time away. Here are some things to do before leaving on your trip.

Review your homeowners or rental insurance. Make certain it covers all your items, including things you've recently bought, including jewelry and electronics. Ask about an umbrella policy to add extra, inexpensive coverage.

Let a few trusted neighbors know you'll be out of town so they can keep an eye on the place. Give them your contact information as well as information for your security company.

If possible, consider removing any high-dollar items and store them in a safe deposit box at your bank.

Consider buying a large “gun-type” safe for your valuables. Get one that can be bolted to the floor.

Pay someone you trust to water flowers, turn on/off lights and televisions, and to park occasionally in your driveway. Also, have that person remove any fliers that may end up in the mailbox or thrown in the front lawn.

Put your television and radios on a timer to give the appearance someone is home. Set your radio to a talk radio station so it sounds like someone is having a conversation.

If there is a community watch program, don't wait for a vacation to get active. Commit to being active throughout the year. That will only benefit you when you are away from home. An active community watch program can be a first line of defense against intruders in your neighborhood.