As Thanksgiving approaches, millions of Americans will be traveling to spend the holiday with friends or family members. Leaving a home empty is a good way to attract burglars. By following a few simple travel and safety tips, everyone can ensure their homes will be left safe enough burglars will not feel enticed to enter. The following are some crucial steps to take:

– Make sure any ladders or similar objects that may allow access to a home or make it easy to climb over a gate are removed from sight and stored safely.

– Avoid posting any status updates or public announcements on blogs, social media or home business sites about Thanksgiving travel plans.

– Before leaving the house, make sure the ringers on all land phones are turned down enough that people outdoors cannot hear if there are repeated rings.

– If necessary, change the answering machine message to ensure nobody knows the home’s occupants will be away for an extended period of time.

– Do not leave keys hidden outdoors or in fake concealment rocks, because burglars know how to spot all of the most common hiding places quickly.

– Have all newspapers, mail and other regular deliveries held or picked up by a trusted neighbor or friend.

– To give the appearance that someone is home, ask a friend or relative to move any cars left behind on the street or in the driveway regularly.

– Be sure all tree limbs that may reach second-story windows are trimmed away enough they will not allow easy entry into the home.

– Purchase timers for lights in several different rooms, and set them to come on and go off at random times.

– To enhance the appearance that someone is always home, set a DVR box to record shows at random times so the television will come on frequently.

– If possible, have a home security system installed. When doing so, be sure it offers fire monitoring service and burglar detection around the clock.

– When installing a security system, it is helpful to ask for the option to monitor the features via the Internet. This will make it possible to turn the heat up or down, unlock the door for a friend coming to feed a pet or even provide live surveillance footage at the touch of a button.

The National Fire Protection Association says that Thanksgiving is the most common day of the year for home fires due to cooking. The following safety tips will help Americans avoid kitchen disasters:

– When using fryers for cooking turkeys, be very cautious because of the risk of fires and burns.

– Be sure the kitchen always has a working fire extinguisher in case there is an emergency, and every family member should know how to operate it safely and correctly.

– Do not wear clothing that fits loosely while cooking. Roll up sleeves, keep long hair back and avoid bending over a stove with a long shirt.

By following these tips, Americans can avoid costly hospital visits, home fires and insurance claims this Thanksgiving. Make a safety checklist in advance, and be sure family members and friends know how to stay safe as well. Contact us to learn more or for answers to insurance questions related to holiday travel and safety.

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