Making sure your home is secure when you’re out of town is more than locking the door when you leave. Thieves love to seize easy opportunities to snag some of your stuff, and if you give them an easy in, you might find yourself out of luck upon your return. Here are a few tips for keeping your home safe while you’re on vacation.
Lock it up
It goes without saying that you want to make sure all doors and windows are locked before you go. If you have a doggie door, put a cover on it, and, if possible, obscure it from the outside by moving a piece of furniture or a barbecue in front of it. If you have an extra key you keep under the planter near the front door or on a windowsill, remove it. Crooks will be looking for this. Instead, stash your extra key with a trusted neighbor.
Newspaper and mail delivery
Either stop your mail while you’re away or have a friend or neighbor come pick it up. You’ll also want to make sure you have someone pass by your house daily to make sure there are no delivery menus and fliers collecting at your front door. This is a telltale sign that someone is away. “When you’re gone, don’t let stuff like newspapers, real-estate cards and pizza fliers accumulate in front of your door,” said MSN. “Make it look lived-in, even if you’re just gone for the weekend.”
Arm your alarm company
“Notify (the) alarm company of travel plans. Furnish them with names and phones numbers of house sitters or caretakers,” said Protected Home. “Provide your itinerary and contact information.” This will put your alarm company on alert in case there is any activity in your neighborhood.
Shine those lights
If you don’t have your lights on an automatic schedule, now is the time to start. New technology makes this easier than ever. A wide variety of home automation tools also allow you to turn lights on or off from anywhere and tie into your home security system. “Whichever home automation lighting control tier you choose to implement in your home, it’s important to note one of the added benefits of automated lighting: security,” said HGTV. “Lighting systems–particularly for outdoor lighting—can be easily integrated with security systems and often feature motion detection as a deterrent for criminals. Even without sophisticated features, a basic lighting automation system that keeps your home consistently well-lit whether you’re home or not can operate as a deterrent on its own.”
Motion sensors are a great tool that can help protect a home while owners are away, even if they are not part of your security or home automation system. “Light is a great deterrent for nighttime break-ins,” said US News. “Install motion sensors on outdoor lights that turn on automatically if someone triggers them.
Play keep away
If you are the victim of theft, you’ll want to make sure you mitigate the damages. Leave expensive jewelry and other portable valuables in a safety deposit box. If you are leaving items at home, keep them out of the bedroom. “A burglar on the hunt for valuables in a home will make the master bedroom their first stop,” said US News. “So if you do keep such valuables on your property, find another room to store them.