A vacation should be a time of peace and relaxation. Nothing is worse during this time than the stresses of your home following you and worrying you during this special time with you and your family, especially when you already need to worry about being safe on the actual vacation. But how can you help it? Your family’s entire life is in your house, and if someone were to mess with that, it would be an emotionally difficult experience. Here are some ideas to reinforce your home while you are away so that you can feel that peace of mind you so deserve.
Buy quality deadbolts
In over half of burglaries, the intruder comes in either the front or back door. This is partially due to homeowners not locking their doors, but even when they are locking up, the locking mechanisms on those doors are weak and insecure. Be sure to buy a deadbolt that is one inch in width, at least. This will make it much more difficult for intruders to force your door open, hopefully deterring them at all.
Secure your garage door
One of the most overlooked access points into your home is through your garage door. Many homeowners may not even think about how easy it may be to access their garage while they are away. Securing your garage door’s safety release makes it much more difficult for intruders to access your garage. Also, don’t forget to securely lock the door from your home into your garage.
Install security cameras (functional or not)
This may seem like a bit of a hassle, but it could be a major factor in determining whether your home is a target for burglars. Most of the time, even the presence of a security camera, whether it is on or not, will be enough to deter an intruder from attempting to enter your home, probably deciding to find an easier target. Having security footage can also make it easier for authorities to recover stolen objects and track down possible suspects. Most CCTV systems nowadays also connect with handy apps on your smartphone, meaning you can check up on your home from the comfort of your vacation.
Leave lights on, inside
It may waste a bit of energy, but leaving some lights on the inside of your house leaves uncertainty of whether anyone is home or not. This level of uncertainty may be something that an intruder doesn’t want to deal with, pushing them to move on and find other targets. To make this option even more effective, many security companies offer the option to install timers that will make your lights turn on at different times of the day, making your home look as lived in as if you were there.
Install alarms (and make sure they know it!)
If an intruder still ends up entering your home, the last line of defense will be having a reliable alarm system. This alarm system will notify you, the alarm company, and the police that your home has been entered. Upon hearing the alarm, the intruder will most likely get out of there as quickly as they can. But even if they stay, the police will soon be on the scene. Always be sure to advertise that your home is armed with an alarm system, as sometimes even just that sticker will be enough to deter intruders.
Have a friend check your house
Give a copy of your house key to a trusted friend while you are away. Having somebody you trust to check up on your house every now and then during your vacation is a simple, social way to make sure nothing nefarious is happening while you are away, giving you a much-needed comfort of mind. Your friend can also collect any mail that is piling up, as well as check on pets and plants.
Have outdoor lighting
Thieves feel comfortable in the dark. It provides solace and security for them while they are enacting their plots. Having plenty of outdoor lighting provides a great source of anxiety for intruders, who would prefer to stay in the shadows. It also makes it easier for neighbors or police patrols to see if any heinous activity is going on around your home.
Lock valuables away
If all else fails, and an intruder manages to beat all statistical probability and still end up in your home, you can at least make sure that they don’t touch anything that is too valuable to you. Before you leave for your vacation, take any possessions of great emotional attachment or monetary value and put them away in a safe or lockbox. This will keep your losses at a minimum, while the burglar will walk away disappointed, with little to show for their efforts.
If you’d like more information on this topic, here is a good article about how to further protect your home while you’re away.