Burglar Proofing Your Home While On Vacation!
It’s “vacation time“ and you’re ready to hit the road with your family. But wait…is your home secure and well-protected? A great number of burglaries happen while people are away on vacation. As you make your vacation plans also consider how you can protect your home and make it a less likely target of a break-in.
I am a big proponent of being proactive about your home security and family protection. To prevent your home from being a target of a home burglary crime - invest time, energy and resources into building a strong level of protection in and around your home!
So what should you do to make sure your home is protected not just while you are on vacation but 24/7 - 365 days a year? For people who have already protected their home with a 24/7 alarm service - great!! You can go on vacation with tremendous peace of mind knowing if something happens you have help immediately on the way. For those who don’t have a security system you must rely upon neighbors, friends and/or family members to check your home while you’re away.
Home Security And Safety Tips Keeping Your Home Secure While On Vacation
1. Install a quality home security system with 24/7 monitoring for burglary and fire protection. If you already have burglary coverage but no fire protection, check with your alarm company to add. A fire can totally devastate a home. The cost is minimal compared to the damage it could case. Be sure your alarm warning signs are prominently displayed. This can be one of the first lines of defense and a tremendous deterrent. Also be sure to allow appropriate time to have your security installed prior to leaving.
2. Tighten up and harden the outside of your home. Look at the deadbolts on each door and determine if they are strong enough to withstand a forced intrusion. Check the bolt on the deadbolt - 2-3″ bolts are recommended. If you’ve never changed your locks/deadbolts and they are over 10-15 years, it may be time to invest in solid quality deadbolts. Doors are usually the first point of a break-in. Make your doors impenetrable to an intruder. When you leave for vacation, make sure you’ve locked all doors. Common sense I know, but many people leave doors unlocked.
3. Check windows to make sure locks are adequate and that they are locked when you leave. Recommendation is to reinforce the windows with dowel rods that can be placed in the track of the windows to prevent lifting or sliding if someone tries to pry the window open. If the burglar has to work with any effort at getting into the home, chances are her will give up and move to an easier home. The key is to strengthen doors & windows making them impenetrable to an intrusion.
4. Be part of a neighborhood watch group. It’s a good idea to get to know neighbors on either side of your home and across the street then watch out for one another. When you get ready to leave, let 2-4 of your close neighbors know so they can keep an eye on your home. If you’re not expecting anyone other than a family member checking your home, let them know that and give them a number to call just in case anything suspicious happens. If a U-haul pulls up in front of your home and starts unloading your valuables, that should be cause for concern and to notify police. When neighbors help each other by keeping an eye out, it helps reduce crime in your area.
5. Have the newspaper and mail delivery stopped before you leave or have a trusted neighbor pick these up. A stuffed mail box or newspaper box is a telltale sign that no one is home.
6. Install motion sensor lights on the outside - garage, front, back and sides of your home provide the best coverage. When these lights come on at night, it gives the impression someone is home. My recommendation is to also connect the motion lights to a lamp(s) on the inside which will come on once the motion lights come on. This looks as though someone really is at home. Also consider having automatic timers on your interior lights. Most burglars don’t want to confront the homeowner so if they think someone is home, they may move on as well.
7. If you have an alarm system, be sure to test your system from time to time and especially before leaving on vacation. Make sure your emergency contact list is up-to-date and let your alarm company know the dates you will be gone. That way if they get an alarm they can dispatch authorities immediately. Anyone having access to your home and your alarm should no how to work the alarm, have the 4-digit code and no the password in case they accidentally trip the alarm system. That way you avoid a false alarm.
8. Pull curtains and mini-blinds so people can’t see inside. Don’t display valuables near windows for burglars to see. This may be too tempting if someone is really desperate. Again set lights and lamps up on timers to give the impression someone is home.
9. Turn your alarm on when you leave for vacation. Some of the latest home security systems can allow you to remotely arm/disarm from your iPhone, iPad, or laptop computer. You can also add interior color cameras so you can actually checkin at home to see what’s going on. ADT has the ADT Pulse Interactive Solution…but you would need to set that up well in advance of your vacation.
10. Enjoy yourself and have a GREAT VACATION!!
If you live in the Michiana Area - Northern Indiana/Lower Michgan - and have questions about home security or would like a home security review, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.CherylWatterson.com.