You’ve been dreaming about your upcoming vacation for weeks and now it’s almost time to head out that front door. It’s a good thing too—you might have pulled what’s left of your hair out if you had to spend one more day in that cramped office with its suffocating walls. The only thing standing between you and blissful summer days in a tropical paradise is locking up your house. You look around. The windows are closed and the doors are locked, you should be good to go, right? Think again.
According to safeguardtheworld.com, 2,000,000 home burglaries occur every year in the U.S. By far, the highest percentage of home burglaries happen during the summer months when many people are off enjoying numerous fruity cocktails at exotic locales. A home intrusion occurs once every 13 seconds on average. And homes without a security system are around 300% more likely to be broken into. This should serve as a cautionary tale to homeowners. If you want your homecoming to be as joyful as your departure, you need to take steps to safeguard your residence.
Essential Steps to Protect Your Home
The harder your home is to break into, meaning the more obstacles it presents to burglars, the less likely it is to be broken into. No matter how big and fancy a home may be, burglars aren’t going to spend an entire afternoon trying to get in, that will call far too much attention and increase their risk of being caught. To make your home an impenetrable fortress, follow these steps.
- Get a House Sitter
If you want to make your house thoroughly uninviting to burglars, have a family member, friend, or someone you trust stay in your house while you are away. House sitters are also a great option if you have pets or houseplants that need to be cared for while you’re away.
- Have someone Pick up your Mail
Nothing advertises the fact that you are out of town like an ever-growing pile of mail at your door. Arrange to have someone pick up your mail for the length of your vacation. If no one is available for this little task, you can contact your local post office and ask them to hold all of your mail. Generally, they will hold mail for up to 30 days. Remember to also request a stop on all newspaper subscriptions during your vacation.
- Give the impression of Occupancy
To make your home appear to be occupied, you should invest in timers that will activate lights. Many people have outside light timers, but to really make it seem like you’re at home you should have a timer for some inside lights that will be on a few hours every day. It may not be energy efficient, but it does wonders for your home security.
- Keep things Nice and Tidy
This is especially important if you live in a neighborhood where yards are always well-maintained. Waist high weeds in your front yard are a dead giveaway that you’re not home. Have a friendly neighborhood kid take care of the mowing and landscaping while you’re away.
- Lock up
This is an obvious but often overlooked step. You should make several rounds of your house to double check that every window and door is securely locked. Use all of the deadbolts and latches you have available. Most burglars enter through the front or back door except in the summer months when open windows provide an irresistible access route. Several varieties and sizes of combination lockboxes are available.
- Don’t Broadcast your Plans
Yes, you’re excited to go on your trip, but don’t post about it on every social media network you can think of. Being discreet can prevent word of your vacation from reaching unscrupulous ears.
Following these steps will not only protect your home from burglary, it will give you the peace of mind to reap the full benefits of your vacation. Now go enjoy yourself.
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Written by George Green. George loves to blog about technology and home security. He lives in Kentucky with his beautiful family.