5 Ways to Increase Your Home Security While on Vacation

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There’s so much to do before we go on vacation, it’s easy to overlook home security. While you may be counting down the days before you can kick back and truly relax, someone could be counting down the days before they can ransack your empty house.

In 2019, there were an estimated 1.1 million burglaries in the United States – residential burglaries account for 62.8% of them! Although you may have a home security system, these five tips can help increase home security while you’re away.

House Security

1. Reinforce locked sliding doors and windows

It isn’t enough to just lock your sliding doors and windows because someone could just break the glass, unlock the door (or window), and slide it open. You’ll want to put something in the tracks to prevent the door (or window) from moving. A broom or a long piece of wood are good options.

2. Ask a neighbor to collect your mail, newspaper, or packages

When a burglar sees a house with a stuffed mailbox or a pile of packages, it’s a clear sign that there’s no one home. If you’re only going to be on vacation for a few days, ask a neighbor to collect your mail, newspaper, or deliveries. However, if you’re going to be away for a while or you don’t want to bother your neighbors, you could contact the post office and newspaper to put a hold on services until you come back.

3. Create the illusion that someone is still home

An empty house is more likely to be broken into than a house where someone is still there. You can create the illusion that someone is still home by:

  • Using timers to turn on lights, the radio or television on throughout the day and night.

  • Leave a car parked in the driveway (if you can).

  • Keep a few lights on in the living room and kitchen for the whole duration of your trip.

Or, better yet, ask a trusted friend or family member to house-sit!

4. Keep your excitement to yourself

Leading up to your vacation, it can be hard not to share your excitement or plans on social media – especially if you’re going somewhere amazing! Unfortunately, by doing this, you’re telling would-be burglars when the house will be empty and even for how long. Even if you don’t use social media, be careful about who you share your plans with because 65% of burglary victims know the burglar.

5. Remove any spare keys from their hiding spots

Hiding a spare key outside is a common practice, but when you’re away, you can’t forget to bring the key inside. A burglar doesn’t have to worry about breaking any windows or doors to get inside your house if they find your spare – especially if you hide it in the most common places like under a rock near the door, under the welcome mat, or in a flower pot.

If you have someone coming by to check on your house, give them the key instead of telling them to use the hide-a-key.  If you’re in the process of selling your house, your real estate agent should have the key.

A secure home is a safe home

In the days leading to the official start of your vacation, you’re going to double, maybe even triple check your bags to make sure you remembered everything. You should also double or triple check any access points in your home to make sure they’re secured. By taking these precautions, you’ll have the peace of mind in knowing that your house and belongings are safe from sticky fingered burglars!

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