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When you leave your home empty during an extended trip, there are some things you can do to make sure it’s safe from prowlers.

Secure all doors with quality deadbolt locks.

Lock the door connecting your home to an attached garage with a key. It’s not enough just to lock it with an automatic garage door opener.

Rig lights, radios and televisions to timers so they turn on and off at various intervals.

A cost-effective way to discourage prowlers is to install low-voltage outdoor lights around the perimeter of your house.

Stop mail and newspaper deliveries and ask a friend or neighbor to park in your driveway. Piles of newspapers and an empty driveway are a sure give away that no one is home.

Leave some shades open so your home doesn’t look shut up.

Never leave a message on your answering machine saying you’re away on a trip. You’d be surprised at how many people do this.

Trim shrubs and tree limbs away from windows so they can’t be used for climbing. Be sure to mow your lawn before you leave; a well manicured lawn gives the impression that you are home.

Your local police department can help with starting a neighborhood watch program. Also make sure you do a security check on your home. Look for the areas where a burglar could access the house easily, and secure them immediately.

These tips will be very helpful in keeping your home safe while you’re away on a trip.