As a homeowner, you care about keeping your home safe when you leave for vacation. Fortunately, you can protect your home — even when you’re away — in various ways. Follow our 15 home security vacation tips to ensure your home stays secure during your adventure.
1. Suspend Mail Delivery
Stacks of newspapers on your porch and an overfilled mailbox hint to your neighbors and passerby that no one is home. You can contact the local post office and set up a hold on your mail so you can pick it up when you get back. During shorter trips, consider asking a trusted neighbor to grab your mail for you and keep it inside.
2. Lock Up Valuables
In the event of a burglary, having your valuables locked away and out of sight can prevent a thief from finding them. Store any identification materials you aren’t taking with you, such as passports and social security cards, in a safe. We also recommend hiding electronics like gaming consoles in inconspicuous boxes in the closet.
3. Check Your Windows
Double-check that you’ve locked your windows before you leave. According to ADT Security Company, 34% of burglars break into a home through an open window. Failure to lock a window — especially those on the ground floor — creates a direct entry point, so perform a thorough check of all your home’s windows.
4. Create a Human Presence
Use lights to give the illusion that someone is home. You can control smart lights from your phone, so you can remotely turn them on and off throughout the day to make it look like people are active in your house.
5. Set Up Lawn Maintenance
An overgrown lawn is another clear indicator that no one is home. If you have a regular landscaper, make sure their services are available when you’re out of town. If not, you can ask a friend to maintain your lawn while you’re away. This step can include snow removal during the winter months.
6. Have a Neighbor Stop By
Ask a neighbor or friend to stop by your house once a day or so. They can look for signs of forced entry and move the patio furniture around. Having someone park their car in your driveway will make it look like someone is home, too.
If you trust your neighbor to go inside, they can look for potential issues like leaks, odd temperatures or appliances left on.
7. Avoid Posting About Your Location
Avoid posting pictures or letting people know you’re away until after you get back. Even if you’re posting content for your friends to see, it’s better to stay safe and enjoy reminiscing on memories of your recent vacation when you post those photos from home.
8. Shut Off Water
If you plan on leaving for an extended period, you can shut off your water main to prevent busted pipes and flooding. Contact your water company to let them know when you will leave and the date you plan to return in advance.
9. Lower the Thermostat
Set your thermostat to a lower temperature to prevent using excess energy. Smart thermostats allow you to control them remotely, so you can monitor the temperature and make sure it doesn’t drop too low. If you live in a cold area, make sure your thermostat stays above 55 degrees Fahrenheit to protect your pipes.
10. Unplug Electronics
Use surge protectors or unplug TVs, stereos and other electronics that could cause a fire or suffer from a power surge.
11. Check Security Device Batteries
Verify that the batteries — including backups — in appliances like smoke detectors, cameras and lights work. These devices can’t protect your home if they run out of power.
12. Install Cameras and Lights Outside
Outdoor security cameras and motion sensor lighting can help scare away burglars. Lighting can also alert neighbors that someone is at your home and warn them of a potential break-in.
13. Hide Spare Keys
Burglars know the common places where homeowners keep spare keys, such as under the doormat or in plants. Bring any spare keys inside or leave them with a trusted neighbor for use during an emergency.
14. Lock the Garage
Even if your garage does not connect to your home, you may have essential tools or equipment inside. Lock your garage and unplug the remote connection. Sometimes a nearby remote can connect to your garage and make a break-in easy.
15. Purchase a Security System
A high-end security measure is to install a security system, including many options with remote capabilities.
Vacation Safety Tips For Your Home
Protect your home while you are away so you can enjoy your vacations. If you’re looking to buy a home in a new area, contact CIS Home Loans today to discover our loan options and services.