There’s nothing worse than coming home from a relaxing vacation only to find that your home has been broken into. According to FBI statistics, a burglary occurs in the US every 18 seconds. This is why taking the necessary precautions when leaving your home unattended for an extended period is essential.
To help you avoid that nightmare, we’ve compiled a list of the best tips to secure your home before traveling. By following these simple tips, you can rest assured knowing that your home is safe and sound while you’re away.
1. Get a Security System
One of the best ways to secure your home before traveling is to install a security system. A security system will deter burglars and alert the authorities if an attempted break-in occurs. Be sure to choose a system that is monitored 24/7 so you can have peace of mind even when you’re away from home. They are also typically equipped with motion sensors, window/door alarms, and cameras that you can access remotely.
Some security systems also provide features such as remote access, geo-fencing, and the ability to control lights and other electronic devices. This can give you added peace of mind knowing that your home looks like it’s occupied even when it isn’t.
2. Lock All Doors and Windows
Of course, one of the most essential things you should do before leaving your home is to ensure all doors and windows are locked. This includes any basement, side, or garage door that could provide easy access to a burglar. Look for any signs of forced entry and ensure all locks are working properly.
If possible, it’s also a good idea to invest in better locks. Deadbolts and other heavy-duty locks are much more secure than standard knobs or levers. Mortise cylinder locks are also an excellent choice, as they are more challenging to pick and require special keys. They are also available in many different styles and finishes to match your home’s decor.
3. Stop Your Mail and Newspapers
If you’re going to be gone for more than a few days, be sure to stop your mail and newspapers. A stack of uncollected mail or newspapers piling up on your doorstep is a dead giveaway that no one is home. You can quickly put a hold on your mail by visiting the post office website or calling them directly.
If you have pending deliveries, it’s also a good idea to cancel or reschedule them. It’s best to have these items delivered when you are home, so they don’t sit outside and draw attention to an empty house. If that isn’t an option, have a neighbor or friend pick them up for you. They can also keep an eye on your property while you’re away.
4. Ask a Neighbor to Keep an Eye Out
If you have a trusted neighbor, ask them to keep an eye on your house while you’re gone. This way, if anything suspicious happens, they’ll be able to report it to the authorities immediately. Be sure to give them your contact information so they can reach you in an emergency.
Some people also opt to hire a house or pet sitter while away. This person can keep an eye on the property and care for plants or animals while you’re gone. Just be sure to do your research and ensure they are reliable and trustworthy.
5. Hide Your Valuables
Before you leave for vacation, be sure to hide all of your valuables in a safe place. This includes things like jewelry, cash, important documents, etc. A good rule of thumb is to hide anything that would be difficult or impossible to replace. Burglars are typically looking for easy targets, so hiding your valuables will make it much less likely that your home will be broken into.
Don’t hide your valuables in obvious places, such as under your mattress or in a kitchen drawer. Instead, opt for a securely bolted safe to the wall or floor. The safe should be fireproof and equipped with an alarm and a combination lock. This will make it much more difficult for thieves to get their hands on your valuables.
By following these simple tips, you can rest assured that your home is safe and sound while traveling. A little bit of preparation can save you a lot of headache later. Always check your home security system before leaving, and always be mindful of who has access to your property. With a little effort, you can ensure your home is secure while you’re away. Enjoy your trip!