How to Secure Your Home Before Going on Vacation
When you go on holiday, it’s supposed to be a worry-free time. The last thing you want to worry about is the safety of your home while you’re away.
This is why it’s imperative that you institute certain security methods so you can enjoy the trip without the worry of your valuables being stolen.
Below is a guide on how you can secure your home while you’re away.
Common Points of Entry
When you secure your home, it goes beyond keeping the doors to the house and any outbuildings locked because the most common entry point for a burglar is the front door or a secondary door.
Experienced burglars know where to find the hidden spare key. Then again, 40% of break-ins are forced entry, so a determined burglar will still find a way to get in if the door is locked.
Windows are another common point of entry because they are fragile. All a burglar has to do is break one window out of the sight of neighbors to get in.
It’s unlikely that neighbors will hear a window breaking, especially if there is no other noise to accompany the break-in. Both easily accessible first story and second story windows are targets.
5 Easy Steps to Secure Your Home
When securing your home, there are several strategies that you can use to thwart a burglar. One of those things is to not post on social media that you will be gone.
Burglars look for vacation photos and status updates that indicate who is going to be gone and when. It’s best to post your photos after you return. You also want to consider the following:
1) Monitored home security system
Convicted burglars were interviewed for a University of North Carolina report and 60% of them said that they avoided homes with a security system. If they noticed a security system keypad inside the door, a yard sign, or a window sticker, they moved on to another home that wasn’t armed.
2) Make it less obvious that you’re not home
Have a friend, neighbor, or family member come to your home daily to pick up your mail or you can have your post office or newspaper carrier pause the deliveries while you’re gone. Burglars look for accumulating newspapers and mail.
If no one is getting these things or delivery isn’t stopped, a potential intruder will know that no one is home and that no one is stopping by.
It’s also good if the person picking up your mail and/or newspapers vary the times they come. If the house is being cased, a burglar is less likely to follow through with the burglary if the person checking on your house doesn’t show up the same time every day.
Another strategy is to put lights on timers so they turn on and off. However, you can take it a step further with a home automation system that allows you to control your lights with your smartphone from your holiday destination.
Lights turning on and off at various times and never in the same pattern from night-to-night makes it appear as if someone is home.
3) Keep valuables away from windows
When a burglar targets a home, they are more likely to complete a burglary if valuables can be seen through windows. This helps the thief plan so they are in and out much faster. However, the room burglars usually visit first is the master bedroom because of the valuable items that are kept there, such as jewelry and money.
Regardless of how secure your windows or doors may be, valuables should be kept in a safe that is bolted to the floor. If you don’t have a safe, hide them in places a burglar is less likely to look, such as a deep freezer, the soil of an artificial plant, inside a medicine bottle, or inside books.
4) Have someone take care of your property
If you go on holiday during the warm months, hire someone to take care of your lawn. If you will be gone during the winter, make sure you keep track of the weather so you can hire someone to shovel snow.
Neglected property is a sign that no one is home, which means it’s also a good idea to have someone take out the trash on your normal day.
5) Put the spare key away
If you have a security system, give them the code and the password they need in case the alarm is accidentally triggered.
Protect Yourself Now
It’s important to take these steps now so you can have peace of mind on your trip. Plus, only 13.6% of burglaries in 2014 resulted in the burglar getting caught because these crimes are difficult to solve.
This difficulty means that you may not retrieve your stolen property.
By taking the necessary burglary prevention steps, you reduce your chances of finding valuables missing when you come home from your holiday.