9 Best Ways to Secure Your Home When Going for a Vacation

By famsecmatters •  Updated: 05/05/21 •  6 min read

When you’re getting ready for a vacation, it’s easy to focus on the destination and ignore the preparation that needs to occur for your home. But avoid putting home security on the back burner in favor of dreaming about your upcoming days on the beach. After all, you don’t want to arrive at your destination and suddenly worry you forgot to lock the front door.

With vacations being a prime time for intruders to break-in, you must prepare before you go. By reviewing these 9 ways to secure your home when going on a vacation, you’ll be able to enjoy your time away in the knowledge your property is safe and secure.

Lock All Doors and Windows

Locking up may seem like the most obvious step to take before leaving for vacation. However, roughly 30% of burglaries occur through the front door.

You should also ensure you lock and shut your windows, even on the top floors. Intruders can still access your home through an unlocked upstairs window, so be vigilant about securing windows on all levels of the house, not just the ground floor or basement. 

It’s not just burglars you need to be aware of, either. Accidentally leaving a window open can present entrance opportunities for animals, as well as adverse weather conditions. 

Invest in an Alarm and Activate It

If you already have an alarm system installed, ensure you activate it correctly before setting off on your travels. If you don’t already have one, it’s worth investing in a home alarm system, especially if you’re going to be away for a prolonged period.

Intruders who notice you have an alarm system will be more likely to skip your house in favor of one that is unarmed. 

Leave a Car in the Driveway

Leaving a vehicle in your driveway when you take a vacation is a significant deterrent for intruders. Burglars prefer to avoid homes with cars parked outside because this signals that someone is inside. If you’re taking your vehicle with you on a road trip, ask a neighbor if they wouldn’t mind parking in your driveway for the duration of your vacation. 

Make the Most Out of Your Community

Having neighbors you trust is a great way to ensure the security of your home while you’re away. By asking them to look out for your property and alert you if any suspicious activities occur, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your vacation knowing someone is monitoring your home

It’s also a good idea to entrust someone with your alarm system codes. Having someone nearby who can deactivate the system if it accidentally goes off saves the whole street a lot of unnecessary hassle. 

Maintain Your Mailbox

If your mail begins to pile up and overflow, it’s an invitation for intruders, confirming to them that no one is home. Ask a neighbor to collect your mail for the duration of your vacation. 

If there is no one available to collect your mail, you can request a mail-forwarding service to another address of someone you know or opt for a temporary mail hold. If you have subscriptions to magazines, newspapers, or other subscription boxes, you can ask to pause them until you return.

Refrain from Sharing Your Vacation on Social Media

Posting your whereabouts on social media can turn your home into a prime target for criminals. Sharing information while you’re away allows potential intruders to know your house is empty for a sustained period and might even provide them with a timeline of how long they have to make a move before you get home. 

Even though it’s tempting to post your gorgeous images while you’re in the moment, wait until you’re home to share your holiday snaps. Holding off on posting to social media for a few days could be the difference between a break-in and finding your home in the same state you left it.

Have an Automated Lighting System

A home that remains dark inside for days on end is clearly empty. Leaving your home in the dark helps intruders identify it as an easy target while also making it convenient for them to creep in undetected, masked by shadows. To deter thieves in your absence, consider ways to leave the lights on when you’re away. 

If you want to save energy, rather than leaving a few lights on around the house all the time, invest in some form of smart lighting. These systems allow you to set your lights to a timer and control when they come on and off.

Alternatively, install exterior lights with a motion sensor that switches on automatically when someone approaches your home. A sudden flood of light late at night might be enough to spook a burglar before they get further than your front steps. 

Read More: Leading Causes of House Fires

Double-Check Your Insurance Policy 

Before embarking on your travels, it is wise to double-check your home insurance policy to confirm you are covered. Many policies have a limit that determines the number of days you can leave your property unoccupied and still make a claim for coverage if anything happens while you’re away.

Keep Your Valuables Out of Sight

Valuable items on display inside your home can turn your property into a magnet for intruders. Expensive items you can easily carry are especially enticing to burglars because they know what they’re getting if they break-in, and they’ll be able to exit swiftly. 

To avoid this, remove valuables from the window view and hide them in a secure spot until you return. Also, consider investing in a household safe for these types of things. A secure lock and code make it almost impossible for an intruder to access. 

Also, be aware that it’s not just material goods burglars look for – some intruders are looking to steal identities, too. This is why you must store any critical documents, financial information, and other forms of personal identification in a secure spot. 

Enjoy Your Holiday With These Tips

Vacationing is one of the most enjoyable parts of life, with many people saving and looking forward to their getaways for months.

To avoid bursting the vacation bubble, you mustn’t neglect the security of your home while you’re away. By implementing these nine tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation with peace of mind, knowing you’ll return to your home just as you left it. 

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