Everyone will agree that going on a vacation is loads of fun—you can recuperate your mind and body and have fun experiences abroad. But being away for any period of time puts your home at risk for being burglarized, which is sure to ruin any vacation. But don’t unpack your bags yet!
There are things you can do to protect your home when you’re away. Follow these home security tips the next time you head out for a getaway.
Don’t advertise that you’ll be away
Even if you are excited to go on that much anticipated trip, never announce to everyone you know about the impending plans. Sure, you trust your friends and loved ones, but broadcasting such news on social media means that information may reach strangers who will take advantage of the fact that you’re away.
If you change your voicemail, don’t indicate that you’re away, for that will also tip people off that the house will be empty for an undisclosed period of time.
Inform only trusted people
If you’ll be gone for a long time, you may want to ask a trusted friend or neighbour to check on your house from time to time. If you live in a neighbourhood with a watch group, ask them to keep an eye on your home.
Stop deliveries and mail subscriptions
Piles of newspapers and mails on your porch are the first sign that homeowners are away. Before going on a vacation, ask your post office or courier service to hold onto the mail, or given them an alternative address to deliver your mail and packages.
Remove your outdoor spare key
Do you keep a spare key under the rug in front of your front door? Perhaps you have another secret space to stash that key. Burglars have experience and will know where to look for that hidden key. Remove the key and give it to a trusted friend or neighbour for safekeeping, otherwise you’re putting your home at risk for intruders.
Lock your doors and windows
This seems like an obvious tip, but how often do you open the windows in your home and forget to lock the latch from the inside? Before leaving for that well-deserved vacation, take a walk through the house to ensure all doors and windows are locked. Small windows can function as an entry point into your home and you want to minimize the places where someone can access your home.
Keep your valuables in a safe place
If you’re leaving valuables behind, like car keys or jewelry, never leave them in plain sight. Leave these valuables with a relative who can put them away for you while you’re away. This way, they’re safe with someone who is home and able to keep an eye on them. If that’s not a possibility, consider renting a safety deposit box at your bank to store your valuables.
Don’t put your address on your luggage tag
Wait, what? Isn’t that the whole purpose of the luggage tag? Almost everyone adds his or her address on the tag in case their luggage is lost! Instead of putting your address down, why not include your name, cellphone number and email address? It’s still your private information and a way of getting into contact with you without notifying people of where you live, which keeps your home safe from potential burglars.
Give the illusion that someone is home
Just because you’re away doesn’t mean your house has to sit looking empty! Make it look like you’re home by leaving curtains open or drawn as you normally would when you’re home. Have a neighbour mow the lawn to make it look like nothing has changed. If you’re leaving in the winter season, consider hiring a professional to shovel your driveway. Neglecting household tasks like this signal to potential burglars that you’re gone.
Install a light switch timer
If you’re trying to make it look as if someone in the house while you’re away, avoid leaving the lights on throughout your house, which will lead to a very costly electricity bill. Instead, install a light switch timer and program your lights to turn on and off to your desired schedule. People won’t suspect you’re away when they see lights flickering on and off from time to time.
Install a reliable alarm system
No matter how hard you work to protect your home while you’re away, sometimes these efforts aren’t enough. Locking your doors can only do so much. That’s why it’s worth it to explore installing a reliable alarm system. These systems are built with consumers in mind: most of them have security cameras that enable you to see what’s happening in and around your home online. Being able to monitor remotely will give you peace of mind wherever you are. Plus, statistics indicate burglars will run off with significantly less items from a house with an alarm system compared to those that don’t have one since they have less time to act.
Don’t let your fear of leaving your home unattended prevent you from going on vacation. Take the necessary steps to ensure your home and valuables are protected so you can enjoy yourself!
Want to leave you home safe and sound? We can help you achieve some peace of mind. Check out our database of home security professionals who can prepare your home accordingly.