The tickets are booked.
The bags are packed.
You’re ready to head out on your summer vacation extravaganza.
All you have to do is lock the door and set the alarm (if you have one) and you’re all set, right?
Not so fast.
Securing your home doesn’t mean it isn’t a target for burglars or thieves.
What you want to do is create the appearance that people are home, even if the house will be empty for weeks on end.
1. Put a stop on mail delivery
Nothing indicates an empty house quite like a pile of mail on your doorstep or newspapers jammed in your mailbox.
- If you have a community mailbox, holding your mail prevents it from filling up. Once it’s full, there’s a good chance that mail gets returned to sender.
If you’re going to be gone for a while (or even just a few days), contact your local Canada Post office arrange to hold your mail delivery.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to put a hold on your daily newspaper too.
2. Make it look like somebody’s home
Setting your lights (and your TV and radio) on a timer is a good way to make it look like your house is occupied.
Other things you can do include to boost security include:
- Leave a car in the driveway: Nothing says somebody’s home like having a car in the driveway. If you’re taking your car, ask your neighbour to park their car in your driveway.
- Have someone mow the lawn: An unruly lawn is an instant tip-off that the home is empty. Getting it cut creates the illusion you’re home (and saves you from having to do it yourself).
- Don’t tidy up too much: if you have things like toys on the porch or an unrolled hose in the backyard, leave them. Cleaning too much disrupts the appearance of the home being lived in.
3. Don’t publicly announce your vacation dates
Sharing your departure or vacation dates on social media doesn’t mean only your friends will see them.
Security settings on sites like Facebook or Twitter aren’t always safe or reliable.
And media savvy criminals actively troll social sites looking for dates, tips and clues which will lead them to an empty, easy-to-rob home.
As tempted as you may be to share your upcoming vacation plans, just don’t.
4. Have a safe? Use it.
You use your home safe to protect valuable items like:
- Home ownership documents
- Guns (in a gun safe, of course)
- Extra cash
While you’re away, you should place important items you use or leave out regularly inside your safe too.
Things like credit card bills, bank statements, extra house or car keys, etc. should be kept hidden away until you return.
5. Advertise your security system (even if you don’t have one)
If you’ve invested in a home security system, you probably got some decals, signs and stickers to place around your property.
Make sure those signs are out and visible. Thieves tend to run away the moment they see them.
Don’t have a home security system? No problem.
You can still purchase decoy alarm system signs which look enough like the real thing to fool would-be robbers.
You can go even further if you want by purchasing fake looking high security cameras.
You’ll know they’re not real, but the bad guys won’t.
And that’s all that matters.
6. Inspect your property before you leave
Because you’re coming and going in and out of your house on a daily basis, you may not notice some of the security gaps in your home.
But if you look at things from the perspective of a would-be burglar, those little issues become big targets.
- Damaged or warped door frames which don’t close properly are easy entry points
- Cracked windows or missing screens are an inviting way into your home
- Locks & hardware which don’t properly shut may as well be left wide open
Let us give you the peace of mind you deserve
You’ve been saving and planning and looking forward to this summer trip all year long.
The last thing you want to do is worry about the security of your home. Or worse, come back to a house that’s been broken into.
Make sure you take these 6 steps to maximize the safety of your house while you’re gone.
And if you need new security products, installations and repairs prior to your departure date, contact us for a consultation or price request.
We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.
Oh, one last thing: Have a safe and enjoyable trip!