While on vacation, a phone call from the police is the last thing you want. You don’t want to hear that your house has been broken into, that is why home safety is important.
No matter how you ensure home safety while you are on vacation, a few simple steps will improve the security of your home. Follow these simple steps to minimize the risk while you are on vacation:
11 Steps to Home Safety While Vacationing
1. Let a trusted friend or neighbor know that you will be gone and for how long. Ask them to keep an eye on the place and give them a key so that they can check out anything suspicious.
2. Put a hold on all newspaper and mail deliveries, or have a neighbor collect them daily. Having a pile of newspapers on the driveway or an overstuffed mailbox is a sure sign that no one is home.
3. Don’t advertise to the world that you are going on vacation. Keep your holiday plans off of social media. Don’t blog about, don’t put up Facebook or Twitter posts with a countdown. You may trust your network of friends, but what about their friends or coworkers. What happens if your friends account is hacked or accidentally left open? Now you have complete strangers reading your status and know when you are going away and how long your house will be empty.
4. Timers are a cheap and simple security measures, that gives your home the appearance of being occupied. You can get them at almost any store for a minimal price. Connect the timers to lights or stereos and set them for when you want them to turn on. A light that turns on and off r background noise from a stereo or TV will leave would be crooks wondering if maybe they had the wrong information.
5. Lock all the doors and windows. Any windows and doors that run on a track should have a track lock installed to prevent them from sliding open. A solid piece of wood the length of the track works nicely if you don’t have a track lock. Double check the doors and windows from the outside. Ensure that all your screens are in place and that none of your windows are easy to open.
7. Ensure that your garage is locked and turn off the automatic opener or at least remove the chain. A lot of people don’t even think about their garage doors because they only use an opener. It’s quite simple for someone to open a garage door using a variety of tricks, make it harder for them. Ensure that the door between the garage and the main house is locked, that way even if they get access to the garage, you can still keep them out of the rest of the house.
8. Have someone come by to mow the lawn if you will be gone for an extended period — an overgrown lawn screams “empty house.” It also gives you one less thing to worry about when you get home. The same applies for snow removal in the winter.
9. Make sure that there are no valuables lying around. Put everything in a safe deposit box or put them somewhere else that is safe and not obvious. Draw the curtains. Don’t pull the curtains so tight that is looks like you are shutting out the world, but just enough to make it look like you were blocking the sun, or seeking some privacy.
10. Many towns have a service commonly referred to as vacation watch. A call into your local police station puts you on a list and an officer will periodically drive by your home to ensure that nothing is obviously wrong.
11. Of course, one of the best ways to ensure that your home is secure and safe while you are on vacation is to hire a company that specializes in home safety. There are a lot of security companies out that offer 24/7 monitoring and can protect your home. Their security systems come with a wide range of options from a simple forced entry alarm to full video monitoring and automation.
Don’t let the enjoyment of a family vacation blind you to the risks of leaving your home unprotected. If a house looks vacant then you are leaving an invitation for criminal activity.
Home safety is always important — even when you’re on vacation, so don’t become another victim.