Use these easy steps how to protect your home from burglary so you can enjoy your time away.
Going on vacation can seem like a rush!
There is the chaos of packing… and the details of planning.
What’s most often over-looked?
Typically it’s the security of your home while you are not there!
Let’s dive right in…
☑ Ask a Neighbor to Help
Having a trusted neighbor stop by and check on your house daily will give you peace of mind all is in order. Packages or deliveries that get left at your door can be brought inside for you.
Another easy benefit?
Have your neighbor park in your driveway to make it look like someone is at home.
Give your neighbor your car keys for safe-keeping – in the event there is a break-in – the criminal can’t leave the scene in your car!
☑ Automate Your Home
Wifi lightbulbs allow you to set your lights on a timer, creating the appearance that you are home. You can buy inexpensive timers at the hardware store and there are many apps available to control this automation from your phone.
Did you know?
You can choose timers with a “random on/off” option, operating lights at various times of the day. Or, activate lights to operate a half an hour in the middle of the day and several hours a bit later in the evening. If you are away at holiday time, you can program your lighted decorations to operate also!
Want to deter burglars?
Install a motion activated sensor on an outside floodlight – outdoor lighting deters burglars!
☑ Stay Off Social Media
You (and almost everyone else!) love to post to social media, especially when you’re on vacation enjoying beautiful views…but you never know who is viewing your profile. Avoid posting the exact dates you’ll be away and remember to check your privacy settings. Save the details and travel photos — post after you get home!
☑ Stop Your Mail
An obvious sign that you are away is a large pile of mail sitting on the front step! A mail slot is only helpful if there are no windows with views of the doorway and there is ample space for the mail to drop through.
The best option…
Have your post office hold your mail. You can stop in or call and let them know the days you’ll be away or you can do it online at Holdmail.usps.com.
☑ Hide Spare Key & Valuables
If you are away for more than a couple of days, take the hide-away-key out of its spot. Instead…leave a spare key with a friend in case of an emergency while you’re gone.
You might be tempted to close the curtains or blinds while you are gone, but this gives the appearance of a vacant house. The better bet is to keep the curtains open, and make sure your valuables are moved out of sight from any windows.
Do not leave jewelry out, be sure to hide it in an inconspicuous place, just remember where you left it! Laptops, cameras and small electronics should be put away in a safe or closet rather than left in plain view.
☑ Update the Police
You may want to consider notifying the police if you are going away for more than a week or two. Use the police station non-emergency number and let them know the dates you are going to be away so they can send an extra patrol car by to check in while you’re gone.
Have a security alarm?
Leave the code with someone you trust and provide the police and alarm company with their name and phone number.
☑ Your Yard Matters
Does your grass need to be cut…
Does your front walk and the driveway need to be shoveled…
Arrange for lawn service or snow removal while you are away. Like a pile of unopened mail, an unkempt lawn or unshoveled driveway is a clear indicator that a house is empty.
Shrubs should be trimmed so burglars can’t conceal themselves as easily while trying to break into your home. Shut and lock gates that may provide access to your yard. Put away valuables like bikes, grills and tools. Put away anything that can be used to break into your home.
☑ Check Your Pipes
Make sure your pipes are well insulated – frozen pipes can cause significant damage to your home, and if no one is there to check them after particularly cold weather, the result may go unnoticed until you are back.
☑ Unplug Non-Essential Appliances
Unplug your microwave, stereo, coffeemaker, TVs and lamps you won’t leave on timers, etc.,…this protects your home in the event of lightening, a power surge or electrical fire and reduces power consumption while you are away.
☑ Check All Locks
Most often, burglars enter your home through an unlocked window or door.
What should be on your calendar several weeks before you’re scheduled to depart?
Check that each of your windows and every entry door shuts and locks properly. Make any repairs necessary. Walk around your house from the outside, look to see if there are any screens that look loose or unsecured and put them back into place.
☑ Turn Down the Temperature
Want to keep your electricity and natural gas costs low while you’re away?
Adjust the temperature on the thermostat and turn down the temperature on your water heater. But, don’t turn it completely off… 55 degrees is a good limit in winter, and 80 degrees for the summer.
☑ Secure Your Garage Door
If you have a manual garage door, it can be secured with a clamp or padlock to prevent it from being opened or you can turn off an automatic garage door opener. This will prevent someone from using a universal remote to open it while you are away.
Good to know…
Be sure to remove the remote from a parked car in the driveway. A burglar will break into your car and use the remote to access your garage.
☑ Get a Monitored Home Security System
Need more peace of mind?
A Home Security System reduces the chance your home will be burglarized by 300 percent.
Most systems offer remote access so you can check your home security from your phone. You can even use your device to lock/unlock doors or check on pets via security cameras.
An added benefit for you…many insurance providers discount your home insurance premium by up to 20 percent when you install a security system – and that savings could help pay for your vacation!
These are some helpful ways to help protect your home from burgalry with minimal effort and help make sure your home stays safe while you’re on vacation so you can focus on enjoying your trip!