Don’t drop the ball on home security during your vacation
Everyone looks forward to their vacation time, but that doesn’t mean that you can forget all about home security when you are away. It doesn’t matter whether you go away for a weekend or a month, paying attention to the security of your home is a 24/7 day job.
So let’s take a look at my Top 10 home security tips for your vacation.
Tip 1: Don’t post your vacation plans on social media
Telling everyone about your holiday plans before you go away on vacation and posting all of your photos and updates while you are away, is a good way to encourage someone to burglarize your home.
Even though you will be really excited and looking forward to your vacation, the best home security tactic is to keep this information to yourself, until you return. It is also a good idea to ask your children to refrain from telling all of their fiends as well, although that might be difficult to achieve. The motto is however – the fewer that know you won’t be home, the better.
Tip 2: Ask your neighbors to keep an eye open
If you get along with your neighbors, ask them to keep an eye on your home and look for anyone hanging about or looking suspicious.
For added home security, you can also ask them to put out your garbage on time and to bring the bins back in as well, as this makes it look like you are still at home.
You can ask them to bring in your mail or if you have stopped your mail service (tip 3 below), ask them to pick up any junk mail that we all seem to collect on a daily basis in our mail boxes. Depending on the closeness of your neighbors, you could also ask them to park one of their cars in your driveway, as this is another great way to look like you are home and increase security while you are away..
Tip 3: Stop your mail
If you are only going on vacation for a few days, you may as well as a neighbor to collect your mail. On the other hand, if you are going on vacation for a week or more, it might be best for your home’s security to have your mail held at the mail center until you return.
An abundance of mail not being picked up is a sure sign to potential burglars that there is no-one at home, so either ask a neighbor to collect it from your mail box or have your mail stopped until you return.
Tip 4: Look for a house sitter
If you have a reliable and trustworthy friend or relative, then having someone live in your home while you are away on vacation is a great idea. You can also do an online search for house sitters and there are established agencies that offer this service.
However, always make sure that anyone you hire from an agency to house sit has been thoroughly vetted, before you make your decision. Asking your friends and relatives if they have used a house sitting service is also a good idea.
Tip 5: Remove spare keys from outside your home
Having spare keys hidden around the exterior of your home, under mats, rocks, in the garage or on top of lintels is a good way to hand your home over to the burglars on a silver platter.
Burglars know that too many of us still leave keys outside somewhere easy to find and if they know you have gone away on vacation and left your home empty, they have all the time in the world to find your spare keys.
Tip 6: Mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges
If you are going to be away for more than a week, definitely for 2 weeks or more, then it is best if you hire someone to mow your lawns and trim your hedges.
You need to make your home look like you are still there and you haven’t gone away for a few weeks, so if you mow your lawn weekly, hire someone to do this for you until you come back.
A trusted relative or good friend might be a good choice, because you can give them your house keys and they can park in the driveway, open the garage, go into the house, etc., and make it look like someone is there as normal (only if you trust them though!).
Don’t forget that you can install an automatic sprinkler as well, to keep your lawns and garden beds watered and look like you are still at home.
Tip 7: Put the lights on an automatic timer
There is nothing quite like a dark home that shouts – we are on vacation! Home security is easy to maintain when you are away, simply by putting some of your internal and external lights on an automatic timer.
Persistent burglars might come closer to make sure that you are home if the lights are on, but many will walk right past your home and zero in on one that is dark and looks empty. Check out the Piper nv Smart Home Security System, because this lets you add-in home security automation that controls the lights as well.
Tip 8: Fit deadbolts to the windows
One of the areas where it is fairly easy for burglars to break in is through windows that are not adequately locked. Yes, they can break a window pane, but since this makes a lot of noise, it is far easier to manhandle open a window that is just on a latch.
Installing deadbolts or locks to your windows before you leave on vacation is jut an extra step in your home security that can put off burglars who are looking for an easy entry point.
Tip 9: Lock the garage and garden shed
First of all, don’t leave expensive equipment in the garden shed, instead move it to a more secure location in your home.
Even so, make sure to fit a good lock to your garden shed, because mowers and other garden equipment are favorite items that go missing when you are on vacation.
Also, ensure that your garage is properly locked (as well as all external doors to your home), and if possible, either move expensive equipment into the house or fit them with locks. For example, fit a lock to your tool box and weld a chain from your toolbox to a sturdy fixture on the wall or floor.
Tip 10: Install a home security system before you go on vacation
There are two main options when you want to install a home security system – either a back to base system or standalone security cameras that you access with your smartphone (you can also save the videos to a DVR). Back to base systems can be expensive, so if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, fit a number of home security cameras instead.
You can read my Top 10 Nanny Cams, because most of these can be used as home security cameras as well, as they have most of the same features. Also, check out my post on where to locate your home security cameras for best effect when you are away from your home.