Top 10 Home Security Tips While on Vacation
Home security may not be foremost on your mind when you’re planning your summer vacation. But once you’ve purchased your travel tickets and booked your accommodations, take some steps to keep your home safe and secure while you’re away. Nothing’s more of a buzzkill than returning from a great trip to find your home ransacked and your stuff stolen.
Tips For Keeping Your Home Safe While You Are Away
Reading the tips below is a good start:
1. Halt mail and newspaper delivery service
An overflowing mailbox or piled-up packages is a clear indication that someone has not been home for a while. You can sign up online to have the USPS hold your mail at your local post office for free for 30 days. You can also ask a trusted neighbor to pick up your mail and papers – and offer to do the same for them when they travel.
2. Block entry to the garage door and your sliding glass patio door
Whether you have an automatic garage opener or a manual door that needs to be open and close by hand, burglars find their way around it. The best way to protect your garage doors is to install a dead-bolt style lock.
Also, secure your glass patio door by using a broom handle or metal pipe as a wedge in the middle bottom track of the door slide. Make sure it’s a tight fit.
3. Don’t publicly promote your absence
Do not post about your vacation on social media until after you have returned. By sharing your travel plans, you are advertising that your home will be empty for days. You can never be sure who sees that information on social media. So, why announce to the world that you’re away?
Also, be careful with your voice mails as well. Some callers do not need to know you are out on vacations, they just need to know that you can’t come to the phone right now.
Make your out-of-office email reply vague. Simply say, “I am temporarily out of the office. If you need immediate assistance, please contact (name) at (email address). Otherwise I will reply when I return. Thank you.”
4. Remove any spare keys and do not leave notes
If a burglar finds out that you are away on the vacations, he will most likely look around for the spare key. So reach under the mat, above the door frame, into the flower pot, or into a mailbox, and remove your spare key before leaving. If you must leave a spare key behind, leave it with a trusted friend or neighbor. As no other place can be completely inaccessible for the criminal.
Leaving notes out for friends or deliveries serve as advertising to burglars that you’re away. Instead, contact them directly via their phones or company website.
5. Install Security Cameras to Monitor Your Home While on Vacation
Security systems that depend on you to monitor your phone may not help when your phone’s on airplane mode. Or you’re snorkeling, hiking or listening to a tour guide. Deep Sentinel’s 24/7 trained surveillance agents call the police for you when your property’s perimeter is breached. Using a proactive security monitoring system is just like hiring a traditional security guard to keep your home safe while you are on vacation.
6. Trim trees and shrubs
One of the biggest giveaways that someone is not home is an unkempt lawn and driveway. Therefore, spring and summer leafing out of your trees and shrubs may be lovely but not when it shields burglars robbing your home. Be sure to trim all that lush foliage away from your windows and doors before leaving.
It might be a good idea to ask a friend or neighbor to take care of any outdoor activities that your house might need while you are away.
7. Leave on lights, radio and TV using a programmable timer.
Confuse would-be thieves by leaving on a few bright lights as well as TV and/or radio with the volume up to a level that can be heard from your front door. Make sure to use a programmable timer. Here at Deep Sentinel, we like the Honeywell Home light switch timer that includes a random setting to really fool thieves.
8. Stash valuables
Easy-to-grab expensive items like jewelry, fancy electronics, cash, watches are extremely alluring to thieves and burglars. So, conceal and secure the high-value items in your home. Lock up the most important things in a household safe.
Also, remember that criminals just don’t draw the line at stealing physical goods, some of them do want to steal your identity as well. So, keep your financial documents, security cards, and any other personal identification documents at a secure place.
Thieves aim to be in and out of a house in less than 10 minutes. So stashing your valuables in a safe will keep your belongings safe even in case of a misfortune.
9. Shut and lock all windows and doors
Lock each and every possible entry to your house including all the windows, doors, and deadbolts. Do this even if you’re going on a day trip. Many thieves simply hop in through open windows and doors.
If you tend to be forgetful, consider getting a smart lock you can monitor and program through a phone app. Also close all curtains, shades, and blinds.
10. Make sure your outdoor lighting includes motion sensors and/or a timer
Darkness is another common indicator that someone is not home. It allows thieves to enter the house un-detected. Therefore, keep a few lights on to create the illusion that someone’s home. Better yet, use motion detector lights to illuminate any intruders. Or you can use a smart lighting system that uses a timer and can be controlled remotely.
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