Many homeowners make simple mistakes that unintentionally tip off burglars that their home will be empty. One big mistake is blasting vacation plans all over social media.
Also, don’t forget to ask a neighbor to pick up your mail, hold newspaper deliveries and have someone maintain the yard while you are gone. Put indoor lights on timers so that they go on and off at normal times, making your home look occupied.
Make Sure Your Home Looks Occupied
When you leave for vacation, it’s important to make your home look occupied and secure. This will help deter criminals from targeting your property.
One way to do this is to have a house sitter stay at your home while you’re away. This person can keep an eye on your home, report any unusual activity, and take care of the lawn. They can also help you set up timers so that lights come on and go off at different times throughout the day.
Another good tip is to ask a neighbor to check your mailbox and remove any fliers. An overflowing mail box is a sure sign that no one is home.
Finally, try to avoid posting about your vacation on social media until you’re back. This can alert people who might not be your friends or family that you’re gone.
Ask Neighbors to Check on Your Home
The bags are packed, you’ve lined up a rental car and have arranged for someone to water your plants and feed your pets. Now you just need to relax and enjoy your well-deserved vacation! But before you do, make sure that your home is secure.
Burglars love to take advantage of homeowners that they know are away on vacation. Don’t tell everyone you know that you are going away, and certainly don’t post pictures of your trip on social media! It only takes one picture to let burglars know that your house is empty.
Ask neighbors to keep an eye on your property. They can check that all doors and windows are locked, and they can put the outdoor lights on a timer so that they come on at dusk and go off again at dawn. They can also mow the lawn, shovel snow or take care of other chores to make your home look occupied.
Make Sure You Have a Security System in Place
It may seem obvious, but if you’re going away on vacation, make sure to set your alarm and put all your remote controls in one place so they can’t be switched off. You should also contact your security company to let them know you’ll be gone and check that all sensors are working properly.
It’s also a good idea to have a neighbor check on your home or hire a professional housesitter. A neighbor or friend can take in your mail, mow the lawn (in summer) and shovel snow (in winter), and give your house a more inhabited look. You can even ask them to trim risky tree branches that could fall and damage your home while you’re away.
Finally, don’t blast your vacation plans all over social media—it can tip off burglars that your home will be empty. This is especially true if you don’t hide your passwords or post specific travel dates and times on your accounts.
Don’t Leave Valuables Out in the Open
Burglars are looking for opportunities, so don’t give them one by leaving valuables out in the open. That includes cash, jewelry, electronics and any other items that might be tempting for a burglar to steal. Putting these items in a locked safe or the trunk of your car is the best option.
Leaving spare keys under doormats, in planters or in the door jambs is also a bad idea. Thieves know these hiding spots and can find them easily. It is a good idea to ask neighbors to watch your home and provide access for deliveries. Also arrange for someone to mow the lawn, rake leaves and maintain your yard so your home looks occupied. And make sure your smoke and burglar alarms are working and armed.
Finally, be sure not to post your vacation plans on social media sites. Not only will this announce to all your friends and acquaintances that you are going away, but it could also encourage other people to try to break into your house while you’re gone.