Vacation season is coming quickly, making more and more homes a prime target for burglaries and invasions. Homes with no security system are also 3 times more likely to be broken into than their secured counterparts. With that said, there are additional steps you can take when you know you will be away for an extended period of time to protect your valuable home.
Invest in some sort of security system
Only 17% of American homes have a security system, leaving the vast majority at high risk of being burglarized. Having a security system can come in many forms like sensor lights, alarm systems, security screens for doors and windows, and security cameras. With advancing technology, these systems have even become complex enough to connect directly to your phone allowing you to see a threat in real-time as well as contact authorities within seconds.
Don’t broadcast your absence
65% of all burglaries committed are by individuals that know the victim. You can never be completely aware of who may be looking for a target within your network. It can be exciting to talk about your upcoming trip to Europe, but make sure to refrain from posting on social media the exact details of your vacation- and make sure your family and friends do the same. This can also include checking into locations via hotels or restaurants.
Don’t leave a spare key
It seems like leaving a spare key for your house sitter or family can be a good insurance option, but most burglars will have done their research and will also be aware. Leaving a key also leaves the opportunity for burglars to break-and-enter with no damage, avoiding suspicion for weeks. Instead, have only one or two keys that you give to the designated caretaker and make sure it is returned promptly when you get back.
Make it look like you are home
Even if an intruder thinks they know you are out of town, having all of the signs of inhabitants can deter a break-in. There are lots of small things you can do to make your home look secured like:
- Parking your car in the driveway, not the garage
- Keeping your external lights on a schedule to turn on at night
- Have your neighbor pick up any door hangers or newspapers that are delivered to your house
- Keep your yard maintained
- Empty your mailbox right before you leave
Have a House Sitter
If you are going out of town, invest in a house sitter. This can be a two-in-one deal if you have pets who need to be looked after anyway, but having someone stay in your home while you are away will protect your home and drastically decrease the likelihood of a potential break-in. Only ask a few trusted family members or friends and don’t advertise that you will have a guest watching over the house. It is also best to only give out one set of keys or passcodes.
If you want to be extra safe, you can even change your passcodes after you get back to ensure there is no one who knows them.
Though there are other smaller tips you can follow to protect your home while you’re away, the most important is insuring your home with a high-quality system of one or more of the systems highlighted earlier.