Ensuring your home’s safety while you’re away on vacation is a top concern for many. The idea of enjoying your time off should go hand in hand with the peace of mind that your house is well-protected.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through practical steps and simple strategies to secure your home during your vacation.
Vacations are all about escaping everyday life and having fun. But that doesn’t mean you should leave your home vulnerable.
We’ll start by helping you plan ahead, making sure you cover all the bases. From locking doors and windows to getting help from your neighbors, we’ve got you covered.
Tips to Secure Your Home While Away on Vacation
Check your security system before going away
As a professional specializing in security system installation and maintenance, prioritizing a centrally monitored security system tops the list.
The reliance on an alarm system is a daily practice, especially during absences like vacations, alleviating concerns of unauthorized access.
A pre-vacation alarm system checkup is a consistent routine. To preempt any potential issues while away, several key actions are taken:
- Upgrading the control panel battery if it exceeds three years of use. Always check if the batteries are about to expire.
- Thoroughly examining door and window sensors to ensure secure attachments.
- Conducting maintenance and testing on all smoke detectors.
- Check the camera recorder to see if the system is saving the footage.
- Make sure all the camera feeds are clean and clear.
- Ensure the time stamp on the system is correct.
Implementing these straightforward measures mitigates the likelihood of false alarms and provides reassurance during vacation periods.
You should never go away on vacation without checking your alarm and security system to ensure that they work properly.
Be careful when posting on social media
When it comes to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, a little discretion goes a long way.
While it might be tempting to update everyone about your exciting vacation plans or share snapshots of your adventures in real time, it’s a good practice to exercise restraint.
Refrain from announcing your absence to a wide audience or providing a minute-by-minute account of your journey while you’re away.
Instead, consider waiting until you’ve returned home to share those captivating moments.
By adopting this approach, you not only safeguard your personal information but also create an added layer of security for your home and belongings during your absence.
Many intruders scout social media for their new targets.
Keep the expensive items in a safe
When we refer to “expensive stuff,” we mean items of not just monetary value, but also possessions that are irreplaceable or difficult to retrieve. This encompasses various items, including:
- Important documents
- External hard drives containing vital files and cherished photographs
Prioritizing the safety of cash and jewelry is a primary step. These should be stored in an inaccessible location. If you possess a safe, ensure it is securely bolted to the floor.
It’s worth noting that a determined thief can easily abscond with an unsecured hundred-pound safe. For added protection, consider investing in a fireproof wall safe that is firmly anchored to the structural framework.
Tell the post office to hold the mail delivery
You might not be aware, but you can actually stop your mail delivery while you’re away. In the past, many people would ask neighbors to pick up their mail daily to avoid having a mailbox that’s overflowing and suggests an empty house.
Nowadays, there’s a more practical way. Just go to the post office and fill out a postcard to request a temporary halt in mail delivery.
This hold stays active until you pick up your accumulated mail from the post office after you’re back from vacation.
This simple step prevents your mailbox from getting too full and giving away the fact that your home is vacant. By doing this, you add an extra layer of security to your home while you enjoy your trip.
Don’t place online orders while you’re away
Avoid placing any orders on platforms like Amazon right before your vacation. It’s a scenario many of us have encountered: we’re away, and a notification from a doorbell camera reveals a package left at the doorstep.
This occurrence raises a red flag, clearly indicating the presence of an unattended package.
Allowing a package to linger on your doorstep for an extended period, especially when you’re not home, significantly raises the risk of unwanted attention.
This signal can act as an invitation for potential intruders, ultimately leading to the theft of the package or even a break-in.
By steering clear of last-minute online orders before your departure, you effectively minimize the chances of such incidents, contributing to the overall security of your home while you’re away.
Shut off the water in the house
Burglars can sometimes display malicious intent beyond just theft. In addition to targeting valuables, they may engage in wanton destruction within your home.
Consider scenarios where someone might deliberately damage your property: damaging your toilet tank, causing water to flood, or plugging sink drains and leaving water to overflow. Sadly, such incidents aren’t unheard of.
To reduce such risks, a cautious approach is wise. One option is to shut off all water sources in the house except for the line to the boiler.
If feasible, you can also install shutoff valves in the basement to control water in the kitchen and bathrooms.
If this isn’t possible, turning off individual shutoff valves under sinks and toilets can serve as an effective alternative.
These steps significantly decrease the chances of returning to a devastating situation. It’s always better to cover all your bases.
Ensure that your outdoor security lights are working
By integrating security lights that link to your home’s WiFi, you can establish a robust safeguarding system.
This advanced setup allows you to program the lights to illuminate at specific times, spanning from dusk to dawn.
Prior to your departure, a smart practice involves configuring the lights to activate during the evening hours and automatically switching off come morning.
This strategic scheduling serves to maintain the appearance of an occupied residence, effectively deterring potential intruders.
Lock and secure the garage door
The awareness of this particular vulnerability may not be widespread. It became popular on Youtube where an individual managed to breach a garage within a mere six seconds, utilizing just a coat hanger.
The method involved inserting the coat hanger through the upper gap of the garage door. By tactfully maneuvering it, the intruder located the emergency door release and effortlessly gained entry.
This tactic becomes even easier if your garage door features glass panels, offering a direct view of the door release mechanism.
For those with an interior door connecting the garage and the house, a recommended action entails disconnecting this lever and securely locking the garage door.
An alternative approach involves unplugging the garage door opener from its electrical source and ensuring the door is locked.
Remove the garage door openers out of cars parked in the driveway
Leaving your garage door opener inside your car while you’re away on vacation can be an invitation to burglars, facilitating effortless entry into your garage.
To counter this risk, the recommended step involves removing the garage door opener from your vehicle.
Alternatively, if you have deactivated your garage door opener, this concern becomes a non-issue. Many burglaries break into cars first and then they use the garage openers to get themselves inside the house.
Park a car in the driveway (or ask a neighbor to park their car in your spot)
Consider the scenario: you’re leaving your car at the airport during your vacation. In such cases, enlisting a neighbor to park their car in your driveway can be a clever move.
This simple action creates the illusion that your residence is occupied, acting as a deterrent for potential intruders.
A vacant driveway tends to signal an empty home. By strategically addressing this aspect, you significantly reduce the likelihood of your absence being perceived, thereby enhancing the overall security of your property during your time away.
Secure any sliding doors in your house
Many homes feature a sliding door connecting to the backyard. Despite locking it, burglars can still find it relatively simple to overcome the lock.
However, employing a secondary lock or utilizing a wooden piece can effectively impede unauthorized entry.
A secondary lock affixed either at the top or bottom of the door, incorporates a deadbolt that’s drilled into the door frame. This configuration substantially heightens the difficulty level for any attempted breach.
Close all the shades and curtains
During the day, having open blinds and shades might not raise concerns. However, once nighttime arrives, it’s a different story.
Leaving your windows exposed could unintentionally offer a clear view inside your home, especially if you have lights on timers, or worse, no lights on at all. By closing your blinds and curtains, you prevent unwanted eyes from peering in.
Install a few indoor security cameras
Monitoring the interior of your home is now simpler and more budget-friendly than ever.
Wireless cameras priced below $50 each can provide effective surveillance. Consider placing three of these cameras strategically: in the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom.
Positioned on counters or tables, these cameras offer comprehensive house coverage while you’re away.
Many models even feature motion detection capabilities, sending alerts directly to your cell phone. This smart solution enables you to keep a watchful eye on your property without straining your budget.
Adjust the thermostats
While not directly tied to security, it makes practical sense to manage your home’s temperature when it’s unoccupied for an extended period.
During winter, setting the thermostat to around 55 degrees conserves energy. In warmer months, turning off the air conditioning entirely, depending on the season, prevents unnecessary cooling.
These mindful adjustments align your energy consumption with your absence, promoting efficiency and cost savings.
From reinforcing entry points to embracing smart solutions, each step adds a layer of protection.
By shutting blinds, setting timers, securing doors, and more, your home gains resilience against potential threats.
Balancing leisure with security, these insights empower confident travel. As you embark on your next adventure, rest assured that your cherished abode stands shielded by these simple yet effective strategies.