Keep Your House Safe While Traveling with These 10 Tips
Did you know that of the 1.1 million burglaries that occurred in the United States in 2019, 66% of those break-ins took place on a residential property? That’s pretty darn scary, especially when you take into consideration all the valuables that are there for the taking! You could be wiped out if you live in a secluded area!
The problem with burglaries is that not only are the thieves stealing from you, but they’re also robbing you of feeling safe in your own home. That’s probably the worst part!
Luckily, we have 10 tips that you can use to protect your home and your valuables from sticky-fingered crooks.
1. Blocking sliding entryways
One of the first things we do when we leave the house is to make sure all entryways are locked up nicely. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t stop there because all it takes is a brick through the glass and someone is unlocking the window or door and sneaking in.
You can make it harder for a would-be burglar to get inside by putting something in the way of the track, thus preventing the door or window to slide open. You can use broom handles, a block of wood, or something similar. You can also purchase decorative lock bars that are made specifically for windows and doors – these items are just more stylish.
2. Pause all delivery services
Folks who want to break into someone’s house aren’t usually going in blind. They tend to scope out the intended target first to see if there’s any indication that no one is home. One of the things they’re checking for is if there’s a lot of mail in the mailbox or there’s a bunch of newspapers in the driveway.
If you’re going to be away for a while, reach out to the post office and paper delivery service and ask them to put a hold on all deliveries until you come back. But, if you’re only going away for a few days, you can probably get away with asking a neighbor or a family member to collect the mail and paper for you.
3. Home security systems work
A home security system can go a long way toward giving you peace of mind in knowing that your home is protected. There are a wide variety of home security products out there, but we are particularly fond of systems that can connect to our smartphones.
Smartphone connectivity means you can check in on your property whenever you want, but it will also alert you the moment there is a problem. Plus, a modern home security system can increase the value of your home, which you’ll appreciate when you sell the house
4. Keep the yard looking fresh
Yard work is the last thing we want to think about when we’re sipping cocktails by the pool, but if you want to keep the burglars away, it’s something to think about. This is especially true if you’re going to be gone for a while.
Burglars are going to be looking for properties where the yard looks like it’s been neglected for a while. Things they’re taking note of include the grass being too high, the snow being on the walkways and untouched, there are dead leaves piling up, and so on. If you’re going to be away for a while, ask someone to take care of the yard at least once while you’re gone.
5. Use timers to keep the daily routine
We are creatures of habit and burglars are taking note of the daily routine of their target. Prior to vacation, pick up a few plugs with timers on them. You’ll want to use these plugs on televisions, lights, or other electronic devices that you use on a regular basis.
When you’re setting the timers, set the timer so that they come on during your normal hours so that it looks like you’re still home.
6. Park a car outside
Leaving a car parked in your driveway is a good way to make it look like someone is home. This tip is only really helpful if you have an extra car or if you’re getting a ride from someone.
7. Remove your hidden key
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to have a hide-a-key somewhere for those emergencies where you’re locked out. Unfortunately, you’re not the only one who has their spare key under the welcome mat or another obvious spot. Burglars know all of the usual hiding spots, so make sure you bring the key inside!
8. Resist the urge to discuss plans on social media
It’s hard to contain your excitement as vacation draws closer, we get it. But as much as you want to gush on and on about a great deal you scored for the all-inclusive resort or keeping a running countdown of how many days are left… Don’t! People will use social media to look for potential targets and if they see your excited posts about vacation, your house will be on their “to watch” list.
9. Hide the valuables
This goes without saying, but before you head out for your vacation, make sure none of your valuables are in plain sight. Your jewelry, expensive electronics, important documents, and bank information should be hidden away – ideally in a locked safe. If you don’t have a safe, you can get away with keeping them out of plain sight.
10. Ask someone to housesit
If you want a surefire way to have a burglar-resistant house, ask someone you trust to housesit for the duration of your trip. Not only will you have the guarantee that someone is at your house, but you can tick off almost every other tip on this list!
You can ask the housesitter to collect your mail, keep the yard looking tidy, and you don’t have to worry about hiding your valuables or buying a bunch of timers to mimic your daily routine.
In a way, all you really need to keep your home safe is a home security system and a trusted friend! Even if you don’t want to have someone housesit, these tips can help ease your mind so you’re able to enjoy your time away without worrying about would-be burglars breaking into your house!