A remodel can be a tumultuous time — and that can lead to potential safety concerns. As contractors move in and out of your home and your home remains vacant day after day, it can become an attractive target for criminals. Here are a few things that you may want to take into consideration to safeguard your home and your family.

1. Install a Security System

A security system is the fastest and most effective way to protect your home. Not only will you be able to check in on your home when you’re away, but you will also have video evidence in the event that something is stolen. Visible cameras provide a deterrent and monitored alarm systems will alert the authorities when an incident occurs. If you already have a security system, it doesn’t hurt to call your security service and ask them to put a note on your account for the duration of the remodel. This will tell them that they should treat any alerts more seriously.

2. Place Your Important Items In a Safe

Anything important that you can’t take with you should always be placed in a safe. A wall safe or floor safe is always best; a safe that is not secured can actually be stolen itself and then unlocked at the thief’s leisure.

3. Keep Your Home Brightly Lit

The interior and exterior of your home should always be kept brightly lit. In general, criminals tend to go after the easiest targets. If they will be noticeable, they’ll move on to another vacant home.

4. Don’t Go Alone At Night

There is always the potential of walking in on a crime. Never go to your property alone at night when work has been done; if the property has been vacant for some days, you could accidentally interrupt a criminal.

5. Lock Most of Your Entryways

Ask your contractors to use a single entryway and to avoid using other doorways going in and out — this will reduce the chances of someone forgetting to lock your doors. Garages are often accidentally left unsecured, as are back doors. This can be seen as an invitation to criminals.

6. Take a Complete Inventory

Before your work is done, you should inventory any items you’re not moving out of your home. This includes appliances; even microwaves can potentially be stolen. With electronic devices and appliances, you should always keep the serial number. You may also want to take photos of your home beforehand so you have visual evidence of what was within it.

7. Let Your Neighbors Know

Sometimes the best protection is the simplest protection. Let your neighbors know that your home is being remodeled and that they should be on the lookout for anything suspicious — such as moving vans or strangers in your yard.

8. Keep Your Property Clean

There are a few hallmarks of a property undergoing extensive renovation: excessive mail out front, unkempt yards, debris, and taped up windows. Take some time at the end of the day to clean up your property. Not only will it make it easier for you to move back in, but it will also make it less likely that thieves will target your home.

Criminals often look through homes that are being remodeled for anything they can take — appliances, copper pipes, and even wiring. Don’t assume that just because your home is empty that it is safe. You should always make an extra effort to secure your home when it will be empty for a lengthy period of time.

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