5 Simple Ways to Protect Your Home While on Holiday

5 Simple Ways to Protect Your Home While on Holidays

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.

Protect-Your-Home-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.

Protect-Your-Home-don't-share-over-Social-media

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.

Protect-Your-Home-take-house-keys

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.

Protect-Your-Home-unplug-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.

Protect-Your-Home-Security-Camera

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.

Android: AtHome Camera, Alfred, WardenCam Home Security IP-Cam

iOS: iWatcher remote camera FREE, iPCamera, Eye Spy Camera Lite

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.

4 comments

  1. “the burglars are as smart as you are,”
    Perhaps even smarter. After some observation they can figure out that there is nobody home and your house lights are on a timer.

    “Take All the Keys with You”
    That way if you misplace your keys, you lock yourself out of the house. Then only burglars can get in. :-) Instead why not put spare keys in a safety deposit box or a home safe?

    “Unplug All Electrical Appliances”
    If you do that then your food will spoil, your surveillance and security system will inoperable and your light timer will not work.

    • To Dragonmouth.
      If you read the article correctly, you would see that it states “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.”
      Note it states “UNNECESSARY” – not your refrigerator or your security/.surveillance.

    • DM > “the burglars are as smart as you are,”
      Perhaps even smarter. After some observation they can figure out that there is nobody home and your house lights are on a timer.

      K > Yes you are right, which is why it says in the article “make sure you use a random time each day to ensure no one suspects a device”. That’s the best you can do to “try” to fool them.

      DM > “Take All the Keys with You”
      That way if you misplace your keys, you lock yourself out of the house. Then only burglars can get in. :-) Instead why not put spare keys in a safety deposit box or a home safe?

      K > The point is not to hide the keys outside the house, which is quite a common practice. You can do whatever you like, take it with you, “give a spare key to a trusted neighbor or friend” (as mentioned in the article) and of course, “put spare keys in a safety deposit box or a home safe”(thanks for the idea).

      DM > “Unplug All Electrical Appliances”
      If you do that then your food will spoil, your surveillance and security system will inoperable and your light timer will not work.

      K > If you read the content of the heading, it clearly guides that you should only turn off unnecessary appliances. However you are right, Unplug “All” Electrical Appliances does gives a signal that “All” electrical appliances should be turned off. May be the heading could be changed to “Unplug Unnecessary Electrical Appliances”.

      • If, over the span of 24 hours, there are no cars going in and out of your driveway and/or people going in and out of your house, and no silhouettes moving on the window shades, no matter how elaborate your lighting scheme is, as a burglar, I know that your house is empty.

        No, I am not a professional burglar, I just play one on TV. :-)

        The above advice will protect the house only from opportunistic, fly by night burglars (pun intended). If a professional burglar wants to get in, he will.

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