As your car pulls into the drive after a sun-filled vacation, you’re mentally prepared to put down your bags and revel in the quiet comfort of being home. The only thing that could destroy your natural high is walking in to discover you’ve been the victim of a break-in.
Burglars often choose homes where the residents are away for an obvious reason: it’s just easier. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be a target. With some savvy technology and a few strategic decisions, you can thwart off most attacks on your house. Here are seven ways to protect your home while you’re exploring the world this summer.
1. Set Timers on Your Light
A clear sign that no one is home is the absence of interior lights after the sun goes down. If someone is casing your home, a few nights of total darkness will tip them off that you’re away. Add a timer to a few of the lights near your windows while you’re gone. Another option would be to purchase LED lights and just leave them on. On average, an LED light left on for an entire year may only cost around $4. You can place them in a couple key areas, like the bedroom window and the living room, to send the message that someone is home. Many times break-ins are perpetrated by those who make quick decisions to break in and haven’t cased the home at all. So having lights on consistently may also deter most would-be burglars.
2. Pause Your Newspaper Service
Allowing mail and newspapers to pile up is another way to unintentionally signal your absence. Ask the postal service to hold your mail at a local post office or have a neighbor collect it for you. You should also pause your newspaper service; most publications offer an easy online process for temporarily stopping deliveries.
3. Let Your Trusted Neighbors Know You’re Gone
If you have a neighbor that you know and love, let them know when you’ll be away. They can keep their eyes and ears peeled for any strange activity on your property. Your neighbor should also keep an eye out for newspapers that still get delivered or any advertisements left on your door — so they can remove any signs that the house is empty.
4. Put Up Flood Lights
Motion-sensor flood lights can scare away a would-be thief. They’re bright enough that neighbors will notice they’ve been activated, and they usually stay on for at least 30 seconds. These lights are best installed over garages, decks, and other potential entry points. Flood lights with wi-fi cameras will alert you via app when the lights are triggered. What’s more, these models let you talk to the potential intruder through a speaker and let them know you’re calling the authorities.
5. Bring Your Spare Keys Indoors
That spare key you have hidden beneath a rabbit statue? Yeah, a robber can find that in about 10 seconds. Bring inside any spare keys that you’ve hidden for your own use when you get locked out. If you really need to leave a key for a house-sitter, be sure to use a key hider that is hard to detect or protected with a lock. In general, leaving keys in obvious places i.e. under mats or flower pots) is not good practice. Definitely use a well-hidden or disguised key hider. You may also want to do an inventory of who has extra keys to your home – if you gave keys to friends or vendors you don’t see anymore, it may be time to change the locks entirely before you go on vacation.
6. Install an Electronic Keyless Deadbolt
Reinforcing the locks on your home is a good idea in general – with the advent of smart locks and other technology, you have a ton of options. It’s an especially great maneuver before you travel. Consider installing a double-sided electronic keyless deadbolt on your front and back doors. These locks can’t be picked or bumped and will fit on locks of all sizes.
7. Use a Remote Surveillance System
You don’t have to pay for an elaborate security system installation to protect your property. Accessories like a hidden security camera and door alarms do a great job at a fraction of the cost. A motion activated camera or smart app camera will set off an audible alarm and notify you via an app of any suspicious movement on your property while you’re gone.
Whether you install a spy camera for home and watch it from your tablet on the beach, or entrust a housesitter to keep your property safe, it’s possible to travel with peace of mind. Have questions about staying safe? Browse our inventory of home alarms and cameras and let us know how The Home Security Superstore can help. We offer unlimited product support and advice you can trust!
Author: Jeremy Pollack
Jeremy Pollack is a self-defense and security expert. He has been teaching martial arts since 2001, with high-level rankings in several disciplines. Jeremy is also former reserve military for the state of California, where he was a member of the Military Police unit, as well as a California licensed private security and firearms operator. He holds several security certifications, including the Military Emergency Management badge from FEMA, the US Army’s Anti-Terrorism Level 1 certificate, California’s PC832 Firearms & Arrest certifications for Law Enforcement, and the California Military Department’s Security Force certification, among others. Read more about Jeremy at www.CoachJeremyPollack.com.