10 Ways to Secure Your Home Before Your Summer Vacation
Ahhh….summer vacation. Time to unplug, relax, unwind and have some fun with friends or loved ones. The summer months see the highest number of burglaries, often due to people being away.
So, while you’re scrambling to find sunscreen and other vacation necessities, don’t forget about securing your home while you’re away.
So here are ways to secure your home while you are away.
1. Stop Mail and Newspapers
Many of us no longer receive a newspaper but if you do, pause the service for the dates you’ll be gone. Ditto for your mail.
Not only is piled up mail a dead giveaway no one is home, but you may also have bank and credit card statements sitting there for the taking.
Avoid ordering any packages before your trip that could arrive while you’re away. Another option is to have someone collect things while you’re away.
2. Ask Friends or Neighbors for Help
Ask a friend or trusted neighbor to stop by periodically and check on your home. Ask them to remove fliers on your door and put out the garbage bins and bring them in.
If it’s feasible, ask them to park in your driveway. You can reward them by leaving some goodies or cold beer inside! Or simply reciprocate when they’re away.
3. Have Your Lawn Mowed
Grass can grow like crazy during the warm summer months, so if you know you’ll be away long enough to make it obvious your lawn and hedges haven’t been trimmed, hire someone to mow it for you while you’re away.
4. Find or Hire a House Sitter
Do you have a relative who could move in while you’re away? What about a trustworthy young adult child of good friends, maybe home from college?
What about someone who already works for you such as a housekeeper or dog walker? If not, consider hiring someone to stay in your home. Having your home occupied is the best deterrent, as long as the house sitter is careful about locking up.
5. Use Timed Lights and Sound
Again, the best deterrent is to make it look like someone is home. Use light timers to turn lights on and off in different rooms of the house.
Having a television or radio turn on periodically is also a good idea, especially if you can hear it from the outside. Some more sophisticated timers can even be controlled remotely by a smartphone app.
6. Remove the Spare Key
That flowerpot on your doorstep really isn’t fooling anyone. If you store a key outside, bring it in while you’re away.
If you need to give someone access to your home, give them the key instead of having them remove it and replace it each time they come over. Or use a lockbox as realtors use.
Store the key inside and give your visitors the code. Read our earlier post about where to safely store house keys.
7. Unplug Unneeded Appliances
While this doesn’t really impact your home’s security, some appliances draw energy even while turned off. You’ll save energy and lower your electric bill by unplugging electronics such as your computers, DVD players, video game consoles, etc.
You’ll also protect your electronics from power surges, which are common during thunderstorms in summer months. Consider unplugging your garage door opener if possible, or the very least, secure it. Read more about garage security.
8. Don’t Broadcast Your Vacation Plans
As tempting as it is to share your vacation plans and photos on social media, avoid doing so. Even if you have your social media accounts set to private, information can still get out.
You also shouldn’t change your work or home voicemail to say you’re away — just say you’re unable to take the call right now. For work, leave a backup colleague’s name and number.
9. Adjust Blinds & Curtains
This one is a bit tricky. Ideally, your blinds or curtains are opened and closed around the same time you would as if you were home. Having the blinds closed day and night for several days in a row is a tip-off that no one is home.
On the flip side, leaving them open makes it easier for someone to see inside and look for movement. Maybe opt for somewhere in between, and make sure you don’t leave any valuables in sight.
10. Check All of Your Locks
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you never know if a child or someone else unlocked a window or went back inside one more time to grab something and left the door unlocked.
Check all of your doors and windows right before you leave. Lock your gates if you have a fenced yard and make sure tools and other theft items are locked away. And last, don’t forget to lock the door from your garage into your home.
Most Importantly, Install a Security System!
Burglars are far less likely to break into homes that have a robust security system. Consider having one installed if you don’t already.
If you do, alert your monitoring company that you’ll be away. Modern systems can even allow you to monitor activities around your home in real-time from an Internet connection.
Being Prepared is the Best Defense
Even with taking precautions to secure your home while you’re away, the worst could happen and your home is burglarized.
You should prepare a thorough home inventory of all of your valuables so you can provide it to the police and your insurance company.
Learn more about preparing a home inventory in our earlier post.
Let us ensure your home or business is safe and secure while you’re away enjoying your vacation! Contact us a 281-506-8466 or visit us online!