There are few feelings worse than returning from your vacation to find your home burgled and your valuable possessions carted off. For some people, the mere knowledge that such a scenario is a possibility, would be enough to take away their peace of mind on their vacation.
To prevent unnecessary worries when you’re supposed to be away having the time of your life, check out the following 8 tips to help secure your home while you’re on vacation.
#1. Use light switch timers inside
One of the most obvious signs of absence would be leaving your home dark in the evenings and night when most people have their lights on. Since you won’t be around to switch your indoor lights on and off, you can install an automated timer to automatically switch the lights on at a particular time every day.
While it’s a simple trick, it can work very well against burglars who scope out neighborhoods looking for vacant houses.
#2. Make sure your exterior is well-lit
Having powerful lights around all entry points will help keep burglars at bay. Again you will need these lights connected to a timer to ensure that they come on at the right time of the day to keep your electricity bill down and prevent people from noticing that you might be away.
Alternatively, you could have your external lights connected to motion sensors which switch on whenever movement is detected. This could surprise and likely scare burglars and alert your neighbors to the fact that something unusual may be happening at your place.
The only problem with this is that it may be possible for animals such as squirrels to set off your sensors.
#3. Hire a part-time care taker
If you’re going to be a way for a while, you should get someone you trust to come over and regularly clean up your yard. Little things like overgrown grass could give away the fact that you are not around.
Similarly, if you have newspaper delivered to your home the care taker can pick them up because a pile of newspapers at your front door is a telltale sign that no one’s home.
#4. Setup electronic alarms and CCTV cameras
It is possible to install alarms that go off immediately someone attempts to open your windows or doors from the outside. Since you will not be at home to respond to the threat and hopefully scare the intruder off, you need an alarm that will do the work for you. You should also get your windows and doors reinforced to make them harder to break through.
Moreover, you can invest in external CCTV cameras that can be accessed over the internet, allowing you a full view of your property at any time of the day even when you’re away on vacation.
#5. Have a neighbor watch your property
Hopefully you have been a good neighbor and can ask your neighbors to willingly keep a watchful eye on your property while you’re away. While this is not very reliable, since people have their own things to worry about, it can work well in combination with the other tips in this guide.
#6. Trim really tall bushes and shrubs
When you’re away you need your house and the exterior to be plainly visible so that your neighbors and people passing by can clearly see if someone is trying to break in or is trespassing. If your property has tall bushes and shrubs which can conceal intruders, you should get them trimmed before you leave.
#7. Lock windows from the inside and draw curtains
You should make sure all your curtains and blinds are full drawn or closed to make it difficult for burglars to case your home.
Also, if you have any expensive looking possessions on the exterior of your home which might give an impression of affluence and consequently attract burglars, you should do your best to conceal these before embarking on your vacation.
#8. Get a house sitter
If the measures suggested so far would still leave you feeling vulnerable while on vacation, then you could hire someone you know, perhaps a relative, who is trustworthy and reliable, or a professional to house sit for you until you get back from vacation. This way you can have someone stay at your property, look after any pets you might have and stay in touch with you if you’re on an extended vacation.