Keeping your home safe while you’re on vacation is important, both for your peace of mind, as well as for protecting your valuables. Homes are targeted in 70% of burglaries and there are some simple steps you can take to protecting your home while on vacation.
A home security system is far and away the best protection you can have for your home while out on vacation, and cheaper than hiring Oakland security guards from First Security Services. There is simply no substitute for alarm monitoring and dispatch when a potential burglary occurs. Studies have shown that homes with a security system in place are three times less likely to have a break-in than those without.
That doesn’t mean all of your personal items are in danger of being stolen if you decide to take a vacation and don’t have an alarm system. Here are five easy steps you can take to protect your home while on vacation or extended leave.
1. Avoid obvious signs of vacationing
This includes posting about your vacation on Facebook, allowing mail or newspapers to stack up while you’re gone, or just having no lights on in an empty house. These are all things that can be leveraged by a burglar. If no one is available to check on your house while you’re gone, it’s easy to put your newspaper subscription and mail on hold.
2. Don’t broadcast your vacation
This should be a no-brainer, yet people consistently get victimized by this tactic. Leaving a message on your answering machine that you’ll be gone for two weeks is a bad idea, as is posting your status on social media. These are both cues used by criminals for finding potential targets.
3. Use timers for interior and exterior lights
One of the best theft and burglar deterrents you can use is light. Lights and lamps that go on based on a timer give a very strong signal to potential criminals. It’s common knowledge in the security industry that lights or even the flicker of a television can be enough to cause a burglar to choose a different target. Timers or motion detectors are a good idea for outdoor lights.
4. Secure valuable items
Don’t leave any valuables in plain sight. Ideally, you should use a safe or safe deposit box to keep your valuables safe while you’re gone.
5. Don’t leave spare keys unattended
Maybe you think stashing an extra key under a doormat or on top of the porch light is a good backup, but that is the first place a burglar is likely to look. Make sure that any spare key is in the hands of someone you trust and not just hidden somewhere in your yard.