9 Ways to Protect Your Home While on Vacation
- Author:by Neil Dempsey
Category: Home Improvement
A vacation provides you with an opportunity to enjoy a few stress-free days away from the pressure of your daily routine. The last thing you want at the end of a fantastic trip is to find that your home has been broken into. Read on for 9 safety measures you can take before leaving for your vacation in order to protect your home.
Table of Contents:
- 1. Keep the vacation plans off social media.
- 2. Leave a car in the driveway.
- 3. Replace older entry doors.
- 4. Be mindful of the blinds and curtains.
- 5. Hide your car’s GPS.
- 6. Do not leave your spare key.
- 7. Invest in programmable light switches.
- 8. Stop your mail.
- 9. Seek a house sitter’s services.
It can be tempting to share pictures of you and your family checking in at the airport, staying at a fancy hotel or sunning at a beach far from home on social media. While you may succeed in making your friends and followers jealous, sharing every detail of your family vacation on social media is also an open invitation for burglars to break into your home.
Consider reserving your vacation photos and only sharing them once you return from the trip. If you have to post while on vacation, switch your settings to “friends only” or “private.” Ensure that your phone number or home address is not accessible or visible on current or previous social media posts.
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2. Leave a car in the driveway.
If you do not intend to use your family vehicle to get to your destination, parking it in your driveway can be an effective strategy to increase your home’s security while you are away. A parked car in the driveway creates the illusion that you are at home, even when this is not the case, reducing the chances of a break-in. If you plan to use your car, ask your neighbors to park their vehicle in your driveway. You could offer to pay for their next car wash to sweeten the deal.
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3. Replace older entry doors.
Most home break-ins occur by forcing weak locks or smashing older and vulnerable entry doors. For this reason, you should consider investing in solid doors to deter robberies. Ideal entrance doors should be at least one inch thick and be made of solid wood or metal. This ensures that no one can kick or break the door down.
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4. Be mindful of the blinds and curtains.
If you usually keep your curtains and blinds open during the day, avoid closing them when leaving for your vacation. While you may want to prevent anyone from peeking through your windows, closing the curtain and blinds is a giveaway of something outside your routine, making your home a quick target for burglars. Be sure to keep the curtains and blinds similar to how they would appear on a regular day to give the impression that someone is home.
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5. Hide your car’s GPS.
Your car’s GPS is one of the most overlooked strategies burglars use to access your home. If you leave your vehicle in a hotel parking lot or at the airport, thieves may not only break in and steal your car — they could also turn on your GPS and use it to drive to your home, where they could help themselves to your possessions. For this reason, you should avoid leaving your portable GPS in your car.
If you have a built-in system, do not set your actual home address as “home.” Instead, use a nearby public location — such as a cafe, shopping center, or park — to avoid leading burglars to your home.
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6. Do not leave your spare key.
You may have found an alternative to the classic spots — in a fake plastic rock, underneath the flowerpot or welcome mat, or above the door frame — to keep your spare keys. However, no matter how hidden you believe the spot to be, a criminal will look for it hard enough and find it. Instead, consider removing it before leaving for your vacation. You could even drop it off at the home of a close family member, friend or trusted neighbor for safekeeping.
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7. Invest in programmable light switches.
Keeping the indoor lights on can give the illusion that someone is home, but this can be costly due to increased electricity bills. Consider installing a programmable light switch. These switches will turn specific lights on and off at a particular time. This enables you to reduce your energy costs while keeping burglars at bay.
That said, if an intruder is closely monitoring your home, they can quickly tell that the lights turn on and off at specific times each day. Consider creating a varying schedule for your timers to avoid being predictable.
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8. Stop your mail.
Before leaving for your vacation, inform the post office that you intend to be out of town so they do not deliver packages and mail to your house. Do not schedule your online shopping deliveries within the vacation period. Mail or packages left outside your door for an extended period could be stolen. They could also alert people that you are not at home. Consider having your neighbor or friend pick up your mail or packages if you forget to notify your post office.
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9. Seek a house sitter’s services.
Hiring a house sitter is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your property is safe and well taken care of. A house sitter can be a friend, a family member or a nanny. You could also seek services from house-sitting agencies and companies. However, ensure that you perform thorough background checks, read customer reviews and testimonials and check references before deciding on a company.
Hiring a house sitter, especially when leaving for a more extended vacation, ensures that your flowers and plants will be watered, packages and mail taken care of and the house kept in pristine condition before you get back.
Knowing your property is safe when you are away allows you to enjoy every second of your vacation. By keeping your vacation plans off social media, leaving your car in the driveway, hiding your GPS, stopping your mail, replacing older entry doors and hiring a house sitter, you maximize your chances that your home will be safe and secure while you are away.
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