Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, ensuring the safety and security of your home while you’re away is of utmost importance.
Inside the House
Install Timers on Interior Lights
Creating the illusion that someone is home is a great deterrent to potential burglars. Consider installing timers on your interior lights to have them turn on and off at different times.
Protect Against Power Surges
To safeguard your electronics and appliances from power surges, unplug or use surge protectors for devices like your coffee maker, computer, TV, and stereo.
Test Smoke Alarms
Fire safety should always be a priority. Before leaving, ensure that all your smoke alarms are functional, and replace any batteries as needed.
Limit Social Media Updates
Avoid announcing your vacation plans on social media. Even if you trust your friends and colleagues, it’s best not to provide any opportunities for potential burglars to target your home.
Alert the Alarm Company
If you have a home security system, inform your provider of your extended absence. Ensure your alarm is set correctly when you leave and consider adding remote monitoring or a video doorbell for enhanced security.
Secure Your Valuables
For added protection, consider storing your valuable items in a secure location like a home safe. Leaving them out in plain sight might attract the attention of burglars.
Set the HVAC
Lower your heat or air conditioning usage and remember to change the thermostat’s battery by setting a programmable thermostat.
Protect Your Pipes
In cold weather, insulate pipes in vulnerable areas such as attics, basements, and crawlspaces. Set your thermostat at 55 degrees or above, and ask a neighbor or friend to periodically turn on the faucets to prevent frozen pipes.
Check Doors and Windows
Before you leave, double-check that all windows and doors are locked securely. This simple step is often overlooked but essential for home security.
Consider a House Sitter
If possible, enlist a house sitter to watch over your property while you’re away. They can also take care of any pets you may have.
Outside the House
Arrange for Lawn Care
An overgrown lawn or unkempt garden can signal an empty home. Ask a trusted neighbor or local service to maintain your landscaping during your absence.
Prune Risky Branches
Trim tree branches that could provide access to your home or cause damage during a storm. This prevents both potential burglars and property damage.
Stop Mail and Newspaper Deliveries
Request a USPS Hold Mail service or have a neighbor pick up your mail and newspapers. This ensures that your home doesn’t appear vacant.
Park a Vehicle in the Driveway
If you have a spare vehicle or can arrange for a neighbor to park in your driveway, it can deter potential burglars. An occupied-looking home is less likely to be targeted.
Secure Wind-Borne Objects
If you live in an area prone to severe weather, secure outdoor objects like patio furniture, grills, and trash cans. Prevent these items from becoming projectiles during storms.
Check Exterior Lighting
Utilize motion sensor detector lights or set timers for outdoor security lighting. Well-lit surroundings discourage burglars.
Don’t Leave Spare Keys Outdoors
Remove any hidden spare keys from exterior hiding spots, as burglars often know common hiding places.
Lock the Garage and Fencing
Even if your garage and fencing do not provide direct access to your home, secure all entrances to prevent theft.
Best Ways to Protect Your Home While on Vacation
Invest in a Monitored Security System
For ultimate home security, consider installing a monitored security system. These systems can detect movement or unauthorized access and notify both neighbors and the police if necessary. Smart security systems offer remote monitoring for added convenience.
Pause Mail Deliveries
Stop your mail and newspaper deliveries during your vacation. An overflowing mailbox can be a clear sign that your home is unattended.
Have Someone Keep an Eye on Your Empty Home
Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to check on your home regularly. They can ensure doors and windows are secure, pick up mail, and maintain the appearance of an occupied property.
Set a Timer for Your Electronics
Use timers for lights, lamps, TVs, and radios to create the illusion of an occupied home. Smart timers can offer a more random and natural appearance.
Keep Your Lawn Mowed
Request a neighbor or friend to mow your lawn if you have an accessible yard. An unkempt yard can attract unwanted attention.
Keep Tools and Ladders Locked Away
Secure tools and ladders in your garage or storage unit to prevent unauthorized access or potential break-ins.
Leave Your Car in the Driveway
If possible, leave a vehicle in your driveway to give the impression that your home is occupied.
Beef up Your Security Systems
Consider upgrading your home security system with additional sensors and cameras to deter potential burglars.
Keep Your Vacation Plans Away From Social Media
Avoid posting your vacation plans on social media platforms to prevent potential burglars from targeting your unattended home.
Lock up Your Valuables
Store valuable items in a safe, hidden lockbox, or secure location to prevent theft.
Keep Your Regular Cleaner Schedule
If you have regular cleaning or maintenance services, have them continue their routine while you’re away to maintain your home’s appearance.
Keep It on the Down-Low
Avoid announcing your vacation to everyone you meet. Not everyone needs to know you’re away from home.
Hide Your GPS
Remove or change the “home” setting on your car’s GPS to prevent potential burglars from finding your residence.
Think About Investing in Smart Lighting
Smart lighting with timers or vacation mode can simulate an occupied home, adding an extra layer of security.
With these comprehensive measures, you can enjoy your vacation with confidence, knowing that your home is well-protected. From basic precautions to advanced security systems, these steps will ensure your property remains secure while you’re away. Make home security a priority, and you can relax and enjoy your time off without worrying about your vacant property.
Protect your home effectively, and return to a safe and undisturbed environment after your well-deserved break.