How to Secure Your Home for Vacation
When a person goes on vacation and leaves their home dark and unkempt for a long period of time, this is often when a thief strikes and makes their move. If a house is dark, the snow isn't shoveled during the winter or the lawn is getting long in the summer, and it seems like there are no signs of activity, then a burglar may see this as a chance to act. Most of these issues are easily preventable. Doing simple things like having a neighbor or friend come in just to do simple maintenance or by leaving lights on can prevent a breach of security. Sadly crime does happen, but there are some simple steps a person can take so they can be at ease knowing their home and possessions are secure. Below you will find a variety of topics, tips, and articles that will further explain how you can keep your home safe while you are on vacation.
Remember to Lock all Doors and Windows
Even if you live in a relatively safe neighborhood you should always make sure to lock and secure all doors and windows. Aside from simply locking down, it's smart to make sure the frames are firmly attached to the structure of the home so that no one tries going in by breaking something down. Don't keep a spare key hidden under the doormat or above the door frame, as this key being hidden in such close proximity to the door can be easily located by the intruder, allowing them easy access to your home and your valuables.
- Safety Tips: The do's and don'ts of safety tips for off campus students at Rutgers University. These tips can be implemented by any homeowner to better keep their home and possessions secure.
- House Safety: Whether you live on-or-off campus, or are no longer attending college, be sure to keep everything safe.
One of the main reasons that a thief may attempt to break into your home and steal your possessions is because it looks like no one is home. Leaving a couple of lights on, having someone mow your lawn once or twice, and installing motion-sensor lights outside can keep a burglar at bay. In essence, make it look like someone is home at all times. Another tip is making sure to postpone any newspaper delivery so that papers don't pile up on your porch while you are away. You can call your newspaper subscriptions department and provide them with the dates you will be gone in order to pause delivery.
- How Secure Is My Home – Doors: The questions you need to ask yourself to ensure home owner confidence.
- Crime Prevention Tips: The city of Falls Church, Virginia, explains how to be safe.
- Home Safety: Leave a TV and lights on to throw off thieves. This tip and more can be found on the provided page.
Secure Appliances and Utilities
Thieves aren't the only potential hazard to your house. Before leaving your home for a few days or weeks, make sure to unplug some appliances and avoid any other obvious mistakes. Unplugging technology and other items can keep costs down when away as well as prevent any potential fires or other damage.
- Tips to Secure Property and Self: How to prevent criminals from taking popular items and more.
- Tips for Securing Your Home Before Vacation: Tips on keeping your home safe when you're not there.
- Home Security Tips: Check the weather beforehand and protect your home if needed.
- Saving Energy and Money at Home While On Vacation: Prevent home damage and unnecessary costs while away.
- Electric Safety: How and when to unplug objects to prevent fire and potential damages.
Hide Your Valuables
Never leave your window curtains wide open to display a TV, video game system, or other valuable items. Even if a thief can't see in from the outside, precious items should be hidden extra carefully so they won't be taken if someone does get in. Smaller objects such as cash, jewelry, and sentimental items can easily be hidden away from plain site.
- Is Your Home Secure: Make a checklist for your valuables using this resource and go through it before leaving.
- 10 Best Places to Hide Valuables in your Home: Review this list of the top 10 places to hide your prized possessions and make decisions based on the objects value and the other items in your possession.
- Clever Hiding Places for Things You'd Want to Keep Secret: Cleaver ways to keep property secret are provided in this list of secret and creative hiding places.
- 8 Secret Spots to Hide Valuables at Home: Even more clever hiding places for your valuables are provided on this page from Fox News.
Don't Advertise the Empty Home
Aside from telling friends, family, and some neighbors that you will be out of town, don't make it obvious that you will be away from home for a longer period of time. Be careful with who you tell online, and refer back to the home security section above for tips on how to make your home look like someone is there at all times. Posting your vacation plans on Facebook or other social media networks could result in an untrustworthy acquaintance or a complete stranger be made aware that your home will be unoccupied for an extended period of time.
- Protect Your House: More general tips to protect your home are provided on this page from the City of Wilmington, Ohio website.
- A Guide to Home and Vehicle Security: A visual and comprehensive guide. Don't forget to be a good neighbor to others as well.