The next time you're out of town for an extended period, help your home maintain its "lived in" look and reduce the threat of home intruders by following these steps:
- Stop mail and newspaper delivery or have a neighbor collect them for you. Have a friend or neighbor pick up circulars or other fliers delivered to your home.
- Have your lawn mowed or sidewalk and driveway shoveled.
- Don't indicate you're away from home on your answering machine.
- Install a timer on your indoor and outdoor lights corresponding with your normal schedule. Consider putting your TV or radio on a timer as well.
- Keep your blinds open in their usual position.
- Tell trusted neighbors you'll be away and ask them to keep an eye on your home - then return the favor the next time they're away.