It’s vacation time! Whether you’re headed for the beach or taking a trip in the mountains, the last thing you want to think about is whether your home is secure or not. That’s why it’s crucial that you take steps now, before your vacation, to secure your home and give you added peace of mind.
Let’s take a look at the best ways to secure your home before leaving for vacation.
1. Don’t Advertise Your Trip Details on Social Media
This is an important tip, not only for parents, but also for tweens and teens. Sharing the details of when you’ll be away for vacation can expose your home to burglars. Some burglars may even be on your friend’s list. When they see that you’re headed out of time, they see an opportunity to steal from you without you even knowing.
In addition to not posting details about when you’re headed out of time, don’t post photos of yourself on vacation while you’re on vacation. It gives the same message: you’re away and the contents of your home are up for grabs.
2. Rely on a Friend or Neighbor
Ask a friend to check on your home while you’re out of town. In addition to watering your plants, they can help you by checking your mail or picking up your newspapers.
You can also stop your mail with the US Postal Service, but that’s not always foolproof. Some sophisticated burglary rings have spies in the postal service who can notify a burglar when you put a hold on your mail.
3. Install a Fake TV
Fake TV is a projector lamp that mimics an actual television. It works by projecting colorful lights that simulate a real LCD HDTV. From an outside window, the effect looks believable. This projector uses less energy than a night light, so no worries about raising your electricity costs.
4. Install a Light Timer
Light timers are your new best friend. You should have a timer whether you’re away from home for a few hours or a few days. Put interior and exterior lights on a timer. Stagger the times for internal lights. Don’t make it super obvious to a criminal that your lights are all set to come on at 8:05 pm. Have each of the lights come on at various times, set apart by 15 minute intervals.
5. Remove the Spare Key
If you’re going out of town on vacation, it’s a good idea to remove the spare key from it’s usual hiding place under a rock or doormat. You won’t need it while you’re out of town. It’s a good practice not to hide a spare key in the normal places, regardless. Burglars often look for a spare before breaking a window or jimmying a lock. If you need to, leave your spare key with a trusted friend or neighbor.
6. Keep Your Lawn Mowed
It’s time to ask your friend or neighbor for another favor. If you plan to be away from home for longer than a week (or less, in some cases), ask that a friend mow your lawn. An overgrown lawn is a blaring light to criminals that no one’s home.
7. Ask Neighbors to Park Their Cars In Your Driveway
The simple act of having a car in your driveway can deter a burglar from trying your home.
8. Keep Your Curtains in Natural Position
If your blinds aren’t closed under normal conditions, don’t close them when you’re off on vacation. A criminal, who may be watching your home, will be sure to notice patterns, or blinds that are not opened for days.
Instead, remove valuables from eyeshot of the window, and install locks or alarms on your windows for added protection.
9. Don’t Announce Your Vacation Status on Your Voicemail
Some burglars call ahead before breaking in, just to ensure that there’s no one home. If your number is publicly listed, it is fairly simple to get your phone number. So, take precautions not to tip off burglars that you’re away from home.
10. Monitor Your Home
Sometimes, seeing is believing. Installing inside or outside cameras around your home can give you added peace of mind. Many surveillance cameras stream live feed that can be accessed from your smartphone or laptop computer.
Hopefully these tips will help you have a smooth vacation and a happy return.