Your home is the easiest target for a burglar when you are away. While going on a vacation, whether it be for months or just two to four days, it is best to make sure your home is protected. If you take a little precaution, or better still spend a few bucks on security, you will be able to minimize the chance of a burglary or at least be prepared for it.
Here we list some simple practices to help you protect your home while you are on holiday to make sure you spend the least cash while doing so.
1. Make It Feel Like You Are at Home
The best way to avoid a burglary is to not be a target at all. If you make it feel like you are still inside the house, the burglar will most probably spare your house. However, the burglars are as smart as you are, and you need to be smarter than them. Below are some things you can do to trick them:
Use Digital Light Timer: Digital timers can randomly turn lights on and off in your house per your instructions. This will make it feel like someone is at home and using lights. However, make sure you use a random time each day to ensure no one suspects a device. Digital timers can cost anywhere between $10 and $20, and you can find many on Amazon. Some timers can even turn appliances on/off like your TV.
Take Care of Mail and Newspaper: Loads of mail and newspapers in front of your house will give the signal that you are not at home. Stop both services before going on a long vacation. You can also digitize your mail with services like Earth Class Mail.
Take Care of Outside of Home: Depending on the season, you should make sure snow is cleaned or your lawn is mowed on time to keep things regular. You can hire a professional service or even give few bucks to a trusted teenager for this easy job.
Use Smart DoorBell: Okay, so you have done everything to fool the burglar, but guess what, they can just press the doorbell to know if you are at home or not (so much for being a smartypants). In such situation, a smart doorbell will help. It will let you both see and talk to the person at the door using your smartphone from anywhere. Some good smart doorbells include Ring Video Doorbell and SkyBell WiFi Doorbell.
2. Don’t Start an Advertisement Campaign About Your Vacation
Yes, it feels good to brag on social network websites about going on a vacation to Hawaii, but you are actually sending an invitation to rob you. Knowing that you will be away from your house for quite some time, burglars can easily plan a robbery. Only spread this information to minimum people, and educate your children about this practice as well.
If you really do want to tell people, make sure your posts are limited to friends or family (who you can trust, of course). Public posts can even be searched in search engines. With a few key words, burglars can spot such a post. Furthermore, while you are on vacation, make sure you don’t upload pictures or post about it publicly; anyone will be able to know you are not at home.
3. Take All the Keys with You
It is smart to hide a spare key outside your house so any trusted person may access your house in case of emergency. However, it is not a good idea when the burglar has enough time to check every inch near your house. Either take all the keys with you or give a spare key to a trusted neighbor or friend.
If you can’t give the keys to anyone and there will be someone who will have to visit your house often to feed your pets or to water the plants, then a controllable lock may help. There are locks that can be opened or closed using a dedicated app in your smartphone. Some of the options include August Smart Lock, Lockitron and Schlage.
4. Unplug All Electrical Appliances
To decrease the risk of fire while you are away, it is best to unplug all big and small appliances that have no duty to perform. Of course, you should keep the appliances on timer plugged in, but unplug all the unnecessary ones, such as the toaster, TV, microwave, coffee maker, etc.
5. Use a Surveillance System
If you are very concerned about your home protection, then a security camera system is a must. It will help keep a tab on pets, avoid hazards and call the police during a burglary. You don’t have to get an expensive high-tech surveillance system for this; a few Wi-Fi cameras at key places should work. You can easily get some good security cameras from Amazon for as low as $20.
Additionally, you can also create a free DIY security camera using your old Android or iPhone. There are many apps for this purpose.
Following the guidelines mentioned above, you should be able to stay low on the target list of burglars. A surveillance system is highly recommended, as it will at least help you call the police if other measures fail.
How do you protect your home while on holiday? Let us know in the comments below.