A vacation is a perfect time to spend time with loved ones while creating distance from life’s troubles. A break-in does the opposite. Along with rushing home to figure out what’s missing, feelings of regret will consume the mind. While it’s difficult to prevent a break-in from occurring, do your part in preventing a break-in by following these strategies.
Keep the Home Secure
A home security system protects the house on vacation, but only when the system is on. Along with activating the security system, lock access points. Lock entry doors, garage doors, doors leading to the garage, patio doors, first story windows, and second story windows. Use deadbolts, padlocks, window locks, and door security bars for extra security. Disable automatic functions on the garage door. Don’t forget to seal pet slots and mail slots on entry doors. Lock jewelry, financial information, ID, social security card, and electronics in a safe or unusual hiding space. Never leave money around. Conversely, turn off sprinkler systems, clean storm drains, close curtains/blinds, and change the smoke detector batteries.
Adjust the Thermostat
Why cool or heat a home that’s vacant? It’s pointless. However, the thermostat must be on so the house pipes don’t freeze in the winter or become stuffy in the summer. Set the thermostat four degrees above or below the normal temperature so the house is comfortable upon return.
Maintain Home Occupancy
Burglars immediately notice vacancy when daily routines suddenly stop. To keep burglars at bay, the routines must continue while on vacation. Halt mail delivery and/or have a friend pick up the mail. The same friend can park his/her car in the driveway, water plants, and take the trashcan to the curb weekly. Hire professionals to continue lawn and snow maintenance while away. Keep lights, radios, and televisions on OR set a timer to turn it on at various times of the day.
Don’t Give an Inch
If a burglar ruins a vacation, do everything humanly possible to make the burglar’s job difficult. Besides locking doors and windows securely, don’t leave curtains open because a burglar can view valuables. Never leave ladders on the lawn or spare keys under the mat. The burglar will use these items to enter and exit the home with ease. Don’t leave items on the lawn as these items can shatter windows or pick-lock doors.
Avoid Social Media
It’s exciting to share vacation photos on social media while on vacation, but don’t do it. By default, all profiles are public, and not everyone who is viewing the photos online has good intentions. Consequently, burglars view it as an opportunity to steal valuables from the home. Share those photos online when you return. Additionally, change sharing settings to private or Friends only, never disclose the vacation dates, and delete past posts containing an address or phone number. Disable the GPS on social media accounts too. Besides social media, never vocalize your vacation plans in the email, on voicemail, and on the answering machine.
We want you to be able to enjoy your vacation without worrying about the safety of your home. It’s not fair that you have to worry about these things, but life can be unpredictable. Be sure to follow these steps to ensure your vacation goes well!