Heading out of town for summer vacation is exciting. Whether you plan to spend your days on a white sandy beach or tour a foreign country with your family, you need to make sure you pack appropriate clothing, your travel itinerary and all the necessary documents. In your rush to pack and get to the airport, don’t forget to secure your home. Based on data from the FBI, burglary rates increase 10% during the summer months. Follow these five home security tips to keep your home secure when traveling this summer.
Ask the Neighbors for Help
While there are lots of gadgets to keep your home secure when traveling (and we’ll get into those in a moment), don’t forget one of the easiest ways to protect your house is to enlist a neighbor’s help. A trusty friend can keep an eye on things when you’re away and contact you if there’s anything going on in your neighborhood.
Stacks of mail and piles of newspapers are a tell-tale sign that your home is unoccupied so ask your neighbor to collect these items for you. If you’ll be out of town for more than a week, ask your neighbor to put your trash barrels out on the appropriate day. Burglars look for houses with signs that no one is home; keeping up appearances can help you keep your home safe.
This may sound like a no brainer, but it’s easy to forget to lock your doors or windows when you’re in a mad dash to get to the airport. Believe it or not, 30 percent of burglars walk right through an unlocked door.
Double check that everything is closed and locked before you leave. You can take the guesswork out and automate your locks. You can get an auto-locking keypad lock or a smart lock with remote locking and unlocking so you can control access to your house with your smartphone.
Don’t Put the Goods on Display
Burglars want to hit houses where they can find the best loot. They look for electronic devices, jewelry, cash, credit cards and easily-pawnable items. If everyone can see your expensive artwork and flat screen TV through your street-facing windows, you’re an attractive target for a potential burglar.
To keep your home secure when traveling, use your window treatments to restrict visibility from outside. Also, keep your smaller valuable items hidden or lock them up in a safe. Summertime is prime fire season, especially if you live in a dry area. Consider buying a fireproof safe to protect your valuables in the event of an emergency. “A safe with a fire rating means that it will maintain an inside temperature that does not exceed a certain level for a particular amount of time,” according to experts at The Home Security Superstore. “Adding fire protection to a safe increases the cost slightly and a fire safe is approximately double the weight of a regular safe. However, if your home or office burns down destroying everything you own, yet everything inside your fire safe is unharmed, it is well worth the investment!”
Hopefully, you will have time to unplug and unwind while on vacation, but you should also do this before you leave. Determine which electronics don’t need to be plugged in while you’re away, like small kitchen appliances, your entertainment system and charging devices. Powering down can save you money on your utility bill, and it’s also a good practice to avoid any electrical hazards while you’re away.
It’s not uncommon to realize you left something on or unplugged before you left. This is another time when a trusted neighbor comes in handy!
Install an Alarm System
Arming your house with an alarm is one of the best ways to keep your home secure when traveling. Based on a study from UNC Charlotte, 83 percent of convicted burglars said they would try to determine if an alarm was present before attempting a burglary, and 60 percent said they would seek an alternative target if there was an alarm on site.
The new wireless alarm systems let you mix and match components like security lights and motion sensors, so you can save money and buy only the parts you need to protect your home. Just make sure to put your alarm signs and stickers in a prominent place so there will be no question your house is armed with a security system. If you’re looking for a home security provider near your, Allconnect will help you find the right system for you.
When you follow these home safety tips you can enjoy a worry-free summer vacation and be confident that your home will stay safe and your valuables will stay put. Where are you headed this summer? Safe travels!
Guest Author Bio: Maile Timon is a professional blogger and content editor. She writes articles on lifestyle and family, health and fitness, education, business, real estate, how to and more. Maile earned her Bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism from Chapman University. When she’s not writing, she enjoys hiking in Southern California.