It’s natural to wonder whether you left the stove on or the front door ajar when you leave for a vacation; you’ve been preparing and worrying about getting all your ducks in a row. While most homes are perfectly safe while you are out of town, there are also ways to make your home more secure both from potential intruders and from natural disaster related issues or perils. Here are some basic strategies for helping your home stay off of a burglar’s radar and improve your own confidence and comfort.
Leave Lights on a Timer
One strategy that helps keep people from thinking your home is unoccupied is to set up room lights on timers for when people would normally be home, such as the evening or early morning. By having lights on at varying intervals, you convey the possibility that a home invader would find someone in the home, which increases their chances of getting caught by law enforcement. When scoping out a target, they are less likely to pick a home they perceive to have people in it!
Hold Your Mail and Delay Package Delivery
Nothing is as much of a giveaway of a vacant home as a big pile of mail and packages on the front step or spilling out of the mailbox. An easy fix is to contact the USPS and have your mail held until the day of your return and then to have them deliver all the mail at once on a day when you can quickly bring it inside. With many package deliverers now you can schedule for a package to be delayed in its delivery and they will route it to be delivered after you get back from vacation. If this isn’t possible, having a friend pick up packages or bring them inside your home can be a valuable other option.
Install a Security System
For homes full of valuables, a full security system can be well worth the investment. For others, a lean system that consists of a couple of cameras that allow them to access footage via smartphone can be enough to provide valuable information and a feeling of comfort that the house is safe and sound. With more and more systems available, do your research and evaluate which features you need, since there are both very advanced systems and very stripped-down, simple systems, like a doorbell camera.
Lock Doors and Windows
It’s a simple step, but adding a little checklist to your vacation preparation where you look at all the locks on windows and doors in the house is going to go a long way to making your home feel secure and protect your home. Lockable doors and windows will also be a key consideration when you go to sell your home, so make sure your locks are all operational.
Have a Neighbor Keep an Eye Out
If you have trustworthy neighbors within visibility of your property, you can work with them to keep an eye on each other’s property when the other is out of town. While this isn’t available to everyone, it’s good to keep in mind that a community that looks out for each other is a major deterrent to crime of many kinds, and you can be part of starting this trend among your neighbors.