Home Security Vacation Checklist

The bags are packed and your villa by the beach is waiting — but you’re worried about leaving your home unattended for a week. We don’t want you worrying while you’re on vacation, so we have some security tips to protect your home while you’re away.

Before your vacation:

  • If you do not have a security system, this might be a good time to consider installing one. See our tips for Choosing a Home Security System.
  • If have a home security system, confirm that your monitoring company has all the right phone numbers on file. Consider notifying the company of the dates you’ll be away — especially if you’ll have limited access to a phone should they try to contact you.
  • Make sure the sign from your security company is visible in your front yard and the stickers are on key entry points.
  • Go online and request that the post office hold your mail. Suspend your newspaper delivery.
  • Ask a neighbor to pick up newspapers or flyers left on your mailbox or driveway.
  • Make sure a neighbor has your contact information in case they see anything suspicious at your home.
  • Program both the monitoring station’s number and a neighbor’s number into your phone just in case you need to check on your house.
  • Cancel any regularly scheduled deliveries, such as prescriptions, that might arrive while you are away.
  • You want it to look like someone is home. In the summer, arrange to have your grass cut. In the winter, have a friend pull into the driveway to leave tracks in the snow or shovel walkways. Invest in timers for lamps.
  • Look around your home and remove any tools a would-be robber might use: ladders to access upstairs windows and bricks or garden tools for breaking windows. Even a trash can can be used to climb onto a roof and enter an upstairs window.
  • Use a wooden rod in the track of a sliding glass door to prevent it from being opened if the lock is broken.

The day of your trip:

  • Make sure every window and door is locked. Don’t forget the second-story, garage and basement windows and doors.
  • Make sure your security system is set.
  • Close the blinds and curtains in rooms with valuables such as televisions and computers. However, closed blinds during the day can be construed as a sign that no one is home, so you may want to leave open blinds in a few rooms where people can’t see in.
  • Set the timers on your lamps and radio or television.



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