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Don't Share Your Holiday with a Burglar

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The Insurance Information Institute reported in July 2012 that there are nearly 1.4 million residential burglaries every year, the majority of which occur while families are away on vacation. Before you leave your home vacant for an extended period of time, here are a few expert tips:

Tend yard. Be sure your yard does not scream, “No one home,” to eager intruders. Un-mowed grass, rampant weeds, withering plants, and un-shoveled snow all indicate no one is around.

Make noise. A quiet home is an empty home. Before leaving, tune a radio to an all-talk station. The voices may confuse burglars. Light and sound from a television will also give the appearance you are home. Leave the air conditioner or heater on.

Let there be light. In addition to the television, use other lights to indicate people are present. Installing exterior lights controlled by motion sensors is an excellent start.

Stop deliveries. Contact mail and newspaper carriers to stop delivery while you are gone. If you forget, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to remove papers and mail for you.

Park and go. If possible, park a car in the driveway. If you are driving to your destination, ask friends or neighbors if they will park in your driveway.

Burglars almost never enter homes they know to be occupied. Create a smoke screen to deter someone deciding which home will be the next target.

©2013 Selective Ins. Group, Inc. (Branchville, NJ). "Selective" insurers include Selective Ins. Co. of America, Selective Ins. Co. of New England, Selective Ins. Co. of N.Y., Selective Ins. Co. of South Carolina, Selective Ins. Co. of the Southeast, Selective Way Ins. Co., Selective Cas. Ins. Co, Selective Fire and Cas. Ins. Co and Selective Auto Ins. Co. of N.J. Insurers and products available vary by jurisdiction.