Getting ready to go away on vacation is an exciting time, but there are some important things to take care of before jetting off to help protect your home while you’re away.
With both opportunistic and pre-planned burglaries on the rise, it’s crucial to follow a few simple steps to have total peace of mind while you’re on your well-deserved holiday.
Here are the six things you need to do to ensure your house is as secure as possible while you’re gone.
Watch Out for Signs that Your House is Marked
Often, would-be burglars will case an area, or a specific property, before breaking in – they’ll often be looking for the best ways to gain entry and figuring out the best time to attempt it. There are clues to look out for that can help reduce the risk of your home being targeted during a vacation.
Here are some of the main signs that your house is marked:
- Unfamiliar people on your street or cars you don’t recognize parked on corners.
- Flyers. This is an old trick. Crooks leave flyers at the door of every home and then come back later to see which ones haven’t been removed – indicating that the residents could be out of town.
- Follows or friend requests from strangers. Facebook is a great way for someone to find out exactly where you’re going on holiday and the dates you’ll be away. Images of the inside of your house can also show a would-be burglar exactly where valuable items are located.
- ‘Emergency’ visitors. If someone shows up claiming that their car has broken down and asking to use your phone, be extremely wary. This could be someone gaining entry to case the inside of your house. It’s advisable to never let strangers into your home.
- People taking photos of the outside of your home.
If you spot any of these signs, contact your local police department for advice, and consider beefing up your home security systems.
Upgrade Your Home Security System
If possible, switching to a holistic, smart home security system is one of the very best ways to protect your home and possessions.
Innovative new systems integrate every security element – such as cameras, alarms, and even flood detectors – so you can monitor and manage everything from a single console in the home or remotely while you’re away. Use the system to set the lights in your home to turn off and on at set periods to give the impression that the property is occupied, and keep an eye – via the doorbell camera feed – on who comes to your front porch, no matter where you are in the world.
A smart security system will alert you and the designated response team if it detects anything unusual, so you can relax on vacation knowing everything’s covered.
One of the biggest clues you can give an opportunistic burglar that your home is empty is if there are a few days’ worth of milk bottles outside your door or a visible stack of newspapers on the floor of your front hall.
In the hustle and bustle of getting ready to go on holiday, canceling your regular deliveries is an easy chore to forget. Add it to your calendar and set a reminder to jog your memory.
You may also wish to ask that your mail be held for the duration of your location – or give a trusted neighbor a key and ask that they collect it from your home.
Be Smart with Social Media
As mentioned above, your social media pages provide a comprehensive look into your life and could easily be used by crooks. As well as taking care not to accept friend requests from people you don’t know, ensure that the settings on all the social platforms you use are set to private.
It’s a good move to only share the news of your vacation with friends and family members rather than making it common knowledge.
Install an Outside Light
A movement sensor outdoor light is a great investment when it comes to home security. You could even have a few to cover multiple areas outside your house. They can usually be set to also turn off and on at specific times of the night. As well as deterring a burglar, they’ll also alert any neighbors to the presence of a potential intruder.
They’re simple to install, and you can pick one up on Amazon for less than $20.
Consider a House Sitter
And finally, one of the best ways to know that your house is safe and being looked after while you’re away is to enlist the help of a house or pet sitter! If you’re lucky, you may have a relative or close friend who would be happy to come to live in your pad for a week, water the plants, and feed the cat.
Alternatively, both house and pet-sitting services are widely available; although this may be an expensive option, at least you‘ll have total peace of mind that your home is being watched over.