January 22, 2019

Securing Your Home During a Vacation

Whether you plan on taking a week’s vacation during spring break or a weekend trip to Cape Cod this summer, leaving your home empty shouldn’t be a cause for stress and distraction.  By taking some common sense precautions, you can help keep your home safe from burglars.

First, take a look at your home from the sidewalk or street.  Are valuables such as the television or computer visible through the windows?  If show, consider moving them or closing the curtains to those windows.  If you can see these things from outside the home, so can potential thieves.  Also, take a look at any bushes around the windows and doors.  They should be trimmed and maintained to prevent burglars from using them as cover while attempting to break into your home.  Finally, assess your home’s exterior lighting.  Motion-activated lights are a worthwhile investment.  Thieves do not want to be seen and adequate lighting is an effective deterrent.

In the days before your vacation, make arrangements to keep your home from appearing empty.  Plan to leave some curtains or shades open with lights on timers so the house looks occupied.  If you don’t have a second car to leave in the driveway, ask a trusted neighbor or family member to park there while you’re gone.  Ask the post office to hold your mail and suspend newspaper deliveries.  All of these details will give your home an illusion of activity.

Just before leaving, walk through your home to ensure all of the windows and doors are locked.  If gaining access to your home is as simple as opening a window, you’re an easy target for thieves.  Each exterior door, including those leading to an attached garage or basement, should have a deadbolt lock with a one inch throw and reinforced strike plate.  Secure any sliding glass doors with a wooden or metal rod in the track.

It’s also worth investing in a home security system.  In addition to helping protect your home from theft and fire, a monitored security system can save money on your homeowner’s insurance and, in time, pay for itself.  Even if you don’t have the resources to install a security system, using stickers or yard signs for a home security company might make potential burglars bypass your home rather than risk setting off an alarm.

By following these simple suggestions, you can spend your vacation relaxing while enjoying the peace of mind that comes with knowing your house is as safe as you can possible make it!