Vacations are supposed to be a time of fun and relaxation, but we all know the fear that can come along with leaving your home unattended. If you want peace of mind while you’re away, take a look at the tips below. They’ll help conceal your absence from street-side burglars and keep your home safe no matter how far away you travel.
Hold Your Mail
A stuffed mailbox and a pile of packages on your doorstep is a great indicator that you’re away — and have been for some time. If you want to avoid giving opportunistic thieves such a big sign, make sure you put a hold on your mail delivery. The USPS makes it incredibly easy to do. Just fill out the form on this page to see if the option is available in your area.
Let Neighbors and Family Members Know You Are Away
If you have neighbors who you are close with or family members nearby, a great way to ensure your house is safe while you’re away is to have them check on it a couple of times each week. This will make it appear that someone is still home and might make burglars think twice about attempting a break in. If neighbors know you are away, they will also be more likely to investigate/report unusual activity in or around your house. If you have a few extra dollars on hand, you could even hire someone to house-sit for you.
Keep a Low-Profile on Social Media
Do you know everyone on your Facebook friends list? How about all of their friends? Our guess is probably not. That’s why you should try to keep a low-profile on social media networks while you are on vacation. It’s best not to announce when you are leaving and to hold off on sharing your awesome photos until you are back. You never know who might discover you’re out of town and decide to take advantage of your absence.
Install a Video Doorbell System
A video doorbell system generally includes a doorbell, an embedded video camera, a motion detector, and a two-way communication device. When someone approaches your door, you receive a notification on your smart device, notifying you of their presence. You can then view a live stream of your front porch from your device (via the doorbell camera). Using the two-way communication device you can talk to whoever is on your porch. This is a great way to let friends and family into your home when you are away, but can also be a fantastic tool for catching burglars and sending them on their way. Just take a look at the video below. A few words from the owner of the house were enough to send these two burglars running. And with the great images captured of the two burglars, the police had a great place to start their investigation.
Don’t Leave Valuables Laying Around
It might seem obvious, but before you leave for your vacation, do a walk-through of your house and make sure your valuables are out of site. If you have a safe or another way of securing your items, use it. Small electronic items, jewelry, and money are easy items to grab and run off with in a matter of minutes. Seeing these items from a living room window could drive a spontaneous thief to break in.
Don’t Leave a Hide-a-key
If you take our advice about notifying neighbors and family members, you may be tempted to leave a hide-a-key “in case of an emergency.” Don’t. If a burglar does realize you’re gone, a hide-a-key provides an easy way for them to get in and out of your house. No breaking and entering, just entering and exiting with all of your valuables. Even the most clever of hide-a-keys can be spotted by an experienced thief. Instead, leave a spare key with someone you trust or consider investing in electronic locks that require a code (entered via a keypad) for entry instead of a key.
Get Light Automation
A great feature offered with many home automation systems is light automation. Light automation allows you to program certain lights in your house to turn on and off at specific times of the day, as well as control the lighting in your house remotely. While on vacation, you could set specific lights in your home to turn on at night to make it appear as though you were actually home. If you wanted to get real tricky, you could program lights to turn on and off in the middle of the night as well. Overall, this serves as a great deterrent for burglars.
Keep Up On Home Maintenance
If you are only leaving for a few days or a week, home maintenance may not be an issue for you. But two weeks, a month, or longer? That is when you need to make sure that your home is well taken care of. Long, unkempt grass, a driveway covered in snow, a pool filled with leaves — all of these things can signal that you are away. So, if you have a lawn care or pool maintenance service, keep it going. If you don’t, see if you can find someone to take care of things for the few weeks of your absence.
Triple Check All Window and Door Locks
You are probably in the habit of locking your front and back door when you leave the house, but what about your windows? Your garage door? Before you leave do a walk-through of your house and make sure every single window and door is locked. If someone does decide to target your house, this will make it hard for them to get in without creating a good amount of noise while breaking a window or door.
Work With a Professional Security Company
If you want true peace of mind while you are on vacation, nothing beats the protection a professional security company can offer. We’ve already mentioned a couple of pieces of equipment that a security company can help you with, but an intrusion alarm system will take your home security a step further. Most systems include motion detectors and glassbreak detectors that are triggered when someone enters a specific part of your property or breaks any glass on your property. Your security service company is notified that the alarm has been triggered and they notify the authorities. You can also choose to receive notification of an intrusion via a smart device. You’ll be able to rest easy while you’re away knowing that a top-notch system is safeguarding your home.
If you’re interested in learning more about intrusion alarm systems or your home’s security in general, you can reach out to us by clicking here. We would love to talk to you!