There’s a lot of planning to do before you can officially start your vacation, but something that we don’t always put a lot of thought into is protecting our homes. Did you know that there were over 1.1 million home burglaries in 2019 alone? That’s a lot of homes being broken into!
You can avoid becoming another statistic by using these 10 tips to make sure your home is protected against intruders.
1. Lock windows and doors
This is a no-brainer because you probably check to make sure these are locked when you leave for work or what have you. When you go on vacation, you’ll want to make sure the windows on the second floor, the basement door and any windows down there are locked too.
2. Pause mail and paper delivery
If you’re going to be gone longer than a week, contact your local USPS office and newspaper carrier to put the services on hold. If there’s a pile of mail in the mailbox and a week’s worth of papers on the front walkway, it’s a clear indicator to burglars that someone isn’t home.
3. Invest in a security system
Today’s security systems aren’t just designed to keep burglars away. They’re designed now so that they can connect with your smart device (smartphone or tablet/iPad) and you can keep an eye on things while you’re away. Depending on what system you install, your home’s value could increase as well. If you’ve been looking for a way to increase property value prior to selling, this is a good start.
4. Hire someone to take care of the yard
If you’re going to be gone for a while and it’s the rainy season, ask someone if they’ll come by and mow the lawn at least once while you’re away. The neatly mowed grass will give off the impression that someone is home and will deter would-be burglars.
5. Put lights on timers
The easiest way to give off the impression that someone’s home is to have the lights on in the house. You can do this with some security systems, but you can also just get timer plugs and set the timer for the usual times you’re awake or at home.
6. Keep a car in the driveway
If you’re not taking your car on vacation or you have a second car, you can keep it in the driveway to further give the illusion that you’re home.
7. Remove your hide-a-key
A hide-a-key is great for emergencies, but to leave a hide-a-key in its spot while you’re on vacation? Not so much. Make sure that you bring the key inside the house before leaving.
8. Keep your plans private on social media
Going on vacation is exciting, but don’t post all of the details on social media. These details include when you’re going, how long you’ll be away, if anyone is coming to house sit (or if you’re going to use social media to ask if anyone is interested in house sitting) and so forth. You can gush all about your trip when you get back!
9. Hide small valuables
Normally when we go away for a day or two, we don’t have to hide our small bits and baubles, but when you’re away… That’s another story. We recommend putting small electronics, jewelry and other expensive (or personal documents) in a safe or just out of pain view.
10. Hire a housesitter
One of the best ways you can protect your home is to have someone you trust house sit for you. You don’t have to go through all of these precautions if there’s someone staying there to watch over your property!
Vacationing is a great way to relax and you don’t want to ruin that relaxation by worrying whether your home is safe. These are just a few ways you can protect your home while you’re away. And depending on what other safety measures you make (needing a code to get in the gate, motion detection lighting, etc.), if you ever decide to sell, buyers will appreciate those added touches!