Dreaming of tropical sunsets, meeting Mickey and the Gang, or backpacking around Europe? You’re not alone. For many Americans, the word summer, is synonymous with vacation. Even would-be thieves! In fact according to the FBI, July through August, is when the most break-ins occur.
We want to make sure you have an awesome time on your vacation, which is why we’ve taken the liberty to compile the following five practical home security tips that we are sure will go a long way in providing you with peace of mind, no matter how far away from home your travels may take you (or for how long).
- Trust Someone Close to You
Asking a trusted neighbor, friend or relative to keep an eye on things while you’re gone, is a great choice when it comes to keeping your home more secure. You can even ask them to park a car in your driveway for that “lived-in look”. Make sure to provide them with your phone number, and an itinerary of your travels, so that they may reach you in the event of an emergency. It’s not a bad idea to provide them with the numbers of at least two of your relatives as well.
- Don’t Advertise
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t advertise your absence. Besides informing one trusted friend or neighbor, and your family, of your vacation plans; you should take care to refrain from telling a multitude of people. Avoid posting your plans on social media until you get back home – and that includes any vacation selfies you may take. The fewer people who know you’re gone…the better your peace of mind.
- Eliminate All Home Deliveries
Nothing looks more inviting to would-be thieves as a stack of newspapers! Be sure to pause all home deliveries – including mail and newspaper – or arrange for someone to pick them up. When requested, the post office will hold your mail up to 30 days. Planning on shipping items home from your travels? Schedule them to arrive after you have arrived back home for increased safety and security (it’s a good idea to schedule them a day or two after you’re due to be home).
- Provide an Illusion
Many homeowners have home automation systems, or accessories, that provide increased security. These systems allow you to control a variety of systems in the home remotely or by programming in your absence. Set up your system to turn on/off lights, radios, electronics, sprinklers, and other devices at specific times. This will provide the illusion that your home is still occupied. These systems are relatively inexpensive – and many work with your home security system.
- Last Minute Details
Do you keep a key hidden somewhere on your property? Find another place to hide it or consider giving it to the person you entrusted to care for your home during your absence. Before departing your home the morning or night of your travels, make sure to double check that all your doors and windows – including the garage door – are locked up tight. Don’t forget to set up the programming requirements for tip #4; if you haven’t already.