Growing up, my family and I would often take vacations together to Portugal where we would stay there for weeks at a time. Now, anytime I was going away to my parent’s home-land it was very exciting! I would remember telling all my teachers, friends, and family that I was going to be away on vacation in one of my favorite places. One time, I remember telling this to one my friends that was over our house for dinner and immediately after that, my mother gave me a stern look because something that I had said had made her upset. After my friend had left to go home, my mother pulled me aside and told me to never announce our vacation plans to anyone! I’ll be honest, as a child I had no idea what she was talking about. Little did I know, that would be the first home security tip I would learn.
With the summer months slowing reaching us, it’s time to start planning those family vacations that your family looks forward to every year. Now the last thing everyone thinks about when planning a vacation is the security of your home while you’re away. Sure, you may have someone come to your home from time to time to make sure everything is in order, or you may have a burglar alarm installed, but what other home security measures do you have in place?
Burglars Open Season is Coming…
Burglars have an open season for break-ins, and research shows that the highest rates of burglaries occur during the summer months (August and July to be exact). Is it because the weather is really nice and burglars prefer working in ideal weather conditions? No, it’s because they know most people are away on vacation leaving a vacant home behind. Do you plan on going away for vacation this summer? If you are, here are some tips that you can take to improve the home security of your home while you’re away on that much needed vacation.
Here are 8 Tips That Will Ensure a Burglar from Targeting Your Home:
1. Home “Social” Security – We are all guilty of this. Anytime we have big news, it’s a natural impulse to let all of our “friends” and “followers” that you’re going away on vacation. However when doing this, you’re giving a potential burglar notice that your home is vacant and the valuables in it are up for grabs. The last thing you want coming home from vacation is an empty home.
2. Window Shopper – A common method for burglars when choosing is a home is to window shop. A burglar will literally look through windows to see if there are any high valued items in clear sight. Make sure that all of your blinds and curtains are in a closed position, this you prevent a burglar from window-shopping your home.
3. Protect Your Valuables – if you have any high value items such as cash or jewelry it’s probably your safest bet to place those items in a safe or safe deposit box. If you do leave it in a safe at home, make sure it’s bolted down into the floor. If not, a burglar will just take it with him.
4. Mail & Newspapers – If a burglar see’s a home with piled up mail and newspapers, this is usually a sign that the homeowner is away on vacation. Have a neighbor, family member, or a friend collect any mail, packages, and newspapers.
5. General Upkeep – If you’re planning on a long trip, it’s best to have a neighbor help with outdoor chores such as watering plants, mowing the lawn, etc. Faded plants and an unkempt lawn can give a burglar a heads up that someone hasn’t been home in a while (either that or the homeowner is really lazy) and that the home is empty and ready for the picking.
6. Hide-A-Key – If you have any keys stored away outside your home, be sure to remove all those. The last thing you want to do is give a burglar the keys to your home!
7. Inform the Police – This is an overlooked step but it’s really important and helpful. You can notify your local police of your vacation plans. The police will put your home on a vacation watch list to periodically check in from time to time. It’s also important to leave all of your contact information, as well as anyone who is looking after you home.
8. Lock up! – The easiest tip and probably the most important. It’s essential to lock up all doors and windows securely. Might seem simple enough, but if not done, this could seriously pose a huge security threat to your home and your valuables.
Ultimately in the end, the best thing you can do to further prevent the chances of a burglary in your home is having a burglar alarm in place. Burglars are less likely to target a home with a home security system, so if a burglar knows you have one in your home he will just move onto the next vulnerable target. The added benefit of having a burglar alarm is in the event of a break in; the alarm system will trigger a police dispatch to your home. You can even secure your home with cameras to see exactly what is going on inside your home from a computer, or a smart phone.
In reality, the chances of your home being burglarized are pretty much the same as if you were in town or away on a trip. Burglars prefer to target empty homes, so they can pretty much target your home even while you’re at work. At the end of the day, not all homes are burglar-proof. However, there are always steps to ensure your home security, and if you follow all the tips provided above, a burglar will most likely see your home as a fortified home and move onto the next one if there’s one available.
This guest post was written by Kevin Raposo, a blogger for SimpliSafe. Kevin covers issues related to home security, crime, safety, and consumer issues. Kevin is a dedicated writer and musician, spreading the word through music and blogging. SimpliSafe is a leader in the wireless home security field.