You’re all packed and ready to go… let the vacation begin! But what about your house? Do you find yourself worrying about how to protect your home while on vacation? You’re not alone. No one wants to worry about whether or not their home will be safe while they’re gone. By putting a few home security measures in place, you can minimize risk — and you’ll stress less.
Here are a few important tips on how to protect your home while on vacation. Doesn’t that sound relaxing?
Thwarting the bad guys before you leave
When it comes to specifically protecting against the threat of a robbery, there are a number of things that can be done to make it less obvious that you aren’t home. Even if you live in a neighborhood with low crime rates, it is still important to protect your home and your family.
Lock all windows and doors
It goes without saying that locking your windows and doors is a pretty important step when it comes to preventing a home invasion, but if you’re one of the 25% of people who don’t regularly lock their front door, this can be an overlooked step. Even locking the garage is a good idea, and make sure any hidden keys are removed. However unlikely it is they’ll be found, it is best to not make things easy for home invaders.
Suspend delivery service and maintenance
You might reach out to your subscription and billing services, such as cable and internet providers, mail delivery, etc. ahead of a trip to let them know you won’t be home. Additionally, let your alarm company or the local police know about your vacation. Suspending delivery services and potential maintenance visits helps reduce the impression that you’re away. A few uncollected newspapers and a full mailbox is an easy sign for would-be criminals that you are not home.
Minimizing risk while you are away
Some of the most important steps to protecting your home from a potential robbery occur while you are already on your trip.
Don’t publicize that you’re away
In this modern age of technology, it is strongly suggested that you avoid flaunting your vacation on social media. You may be excited about your trip and want to share with your friends, but if you’re too specific with dates and not posting in secure locations, undesirable folks in your neighborhood may stumble upon a new opportunity to target your empty home.
Enlist the help of a friend
By asking a family member, friend or trust-worthy neighbor for help, you can further ensure nothing bad happens while you are away. Have this person come by once or twice during the week. A car in the driveway may scare off area criminals, and this person can also collect your mail or newspapers if you forgot or were unable to pause these services. Your friend or neighbor can also turn on new lights and bring in the bins from the curb if necessary.
If your family is new to a community or neighborhood and you don’t yet have someone available to check in on your home, there are programs that can keep an eye on your place. Additionally, you can reach out to your local police station and request an extra drive-by or two while you are on vacation.
Other tips for when you’re away
Taking the right home security measures is an important step in minimizing risk while you’re away. Additionally, there are some other things you may want to consider before you leave:
- Unplug any unnecessary appliances and electronics so they’re not sucking up electricity
- Use a programmable or smart thermostat to keep the house comfortable, but not overly hot or cold
- Remove any hidden spare keys you may have stashed away outside your home
- Double-check the connections and batteries on any home security devices as well as smoke detectors
Want an extra set of eyes on your home while you’re away? Learn more about home security providers and how they can help keep your house safe whether your home or on vacation.
Originally published 04/04/16. Last updated 09/16/19.