When you’re all packed and ready to go, you want to leave your worries behind and not have to find space for them in the suitcase too. It’s a fact that home burglaries are more common during the summer, as this is the peak travel time for most families. Follow these tips for a vacation without emotional baggage to worry about as well.
#1 Leave your Home Looking Lived in
It’s tempting to tidy up before going away but if there are usually toys in the yard or boots on the porch, then leave them there. If your home doesn’t look like it normally does, then straight away this could be sending signals to any burglars in the area. Obviously, don’t leave anything out that would be sorely missed! Ask a neighbour or hire someone to come and mow your lawn too, so your property doesn’t look empty.
#2 Leave a Vehicle
Leaving a car parked in the driveway looks normal and certainly indicates that someone’s home. If you are taking your only car with you, then ask a neighbor if they would consider parking their vehicle on your driveway for the duration of your break.
#3 Alarm Signs
Whether you have an alarm system or not, get some signs up around your property to make it clear that your home is not the one to mess with. If you’re concerned that burglars might have knowledge of a particular system, then get hold of signs for a different alarm system to help throw them off the scent.
#4 Glass Doors Tips
One weakness in every home’s defence is the patio doors. All that glass that’s easy to break and the possibility of a worn door tracker can make life much easier for a burglar. Installing a slide locking bar into the bottom track of the door will prevent it from being opened even if the lock is damaged. Even a piece of wood or a spare metal pole will do the trick.
#5 Befriend the Neighborhood Busy-Body
There is one on every street and, even though it can be annoying, they too have their uses. Being friendly and starting up conversations with such people can be a great way of getting ‘eyes on’ your property while you're away. Encourage them to watch your home and it will be like having your guard dog - one that can call the cops, if need be!
#6 Don’t Forget the Spare Key
If you normally leave a hidden key somewhere around the outside of your property then don’t forget to take it with you. Burglars can usually guess the most likely places for keys to be hidden, so don’t make it easy for them. Leave the key with a friend or neighbour if you think someone trusted should have access in case of emergency.
#7 Don’t Lead them Straight to your Door
Most people don’t realise that their GPS units can lead burglars directly to their home address. If you’ll be leaving your car at the airport then take your unit with you otherwise a thief looking for ‘home’ now knows where to find an empty house. If your car has a built-in GPS, then try setting up ‘home’ as a different address. You can always set if for somewhere nearby, so you still know how to get home but thieves will be left at a dead end!
#8 Some Things you Shouldn’t Share
Most of us are very active on social media but going away on vacation is one life moment we shouldn’t post about. Why advertise the fact that you are leaving your home empty for a time? Your closest friends and family will already know your plans so don’t be tempted to boast about your trip to all those ‘social media friends’.
#9 Light it Up!
A dark house at night is obviously an empty one. Think about installing some programmable lights to go on and off at certain times. You can also do this with the TV, so anyone close to your property can hear the sounds of everyday life. If you’re worried that programmable lights might have too much of a set pattern and be recognised as such, smart bulbs are available that can be remotely controlled from an app on your cell phone.
#10 Lights, Camera, Action!
Technology is evolving all the time when it comes to home security and as well as smart lighting, for extra peace of mind, you could have your own ‘eyes on’ with a home camera linked to an app on your phone. This would give you the ability to check in on your property whenever you felt the need and different packages provide alerts for when movement is detected.