5 tips for protecting your home while you're away

November 6, 2014

Leaving your house unoccupied makes it an easy target for criminals. Fortunately, there are many ways to help prevent burglaries while you're away on vacation. Here are 5 tips for protecting your home.

5 tips for protecting your home while you're away

Is anyone home?

The excitement of a holiday can lead to oversight when it comes to protecting your home. The most important way of keeping your living space safe is to never let it look like there is no one home. Although the best option is finding a reliable house sitter, you can still enjoy a worry-free vacation if that isn't possible. But how?

1. Cancel deliveries

Cancel deliveries, especially regular deliveries like newspapers, to make your house appear occupied.

  • Uncollected mail and newspapers gathering on your doorstep are a dead giveaway to prowling criminals.
  • Ask a neighbour to pick up any sales flyers that are placed in your mailbox or hung on the handle of your front door.

2. Install timers

Install timer switches to effectively deter anyone who might be casing your property.

  • Timer switches can turn both lights and radios on and off at specified intervals, making it look like someone is home.
  • You can bolster the illusion of occupancy by leaving the blinds slightly open, allowing light from inside the house to filter out and emphasize the idea that someone is home.
  • This is a better method than leaving curtains drawn, which allows intruders to peer through, or keeping the curtains closed, which tends to give the impression of absence.

3. Install a security system

You should install the system a few months before departure so you have time to familiarize yourself with how it works and eliminate any room for misconfigurations that might leave your home accidentally exposed.

  • Some home security systems come with interactive controls that make use of a smartphone or portable computer.

4. Upgrade the locks

This will make it harder for an intruder to gain access.

  • Fit at least two locks on all exterior doors, preferably mortise variants that come with five or more levers.

5. Install a camera

Consider installing closed-circuit cameras as a means of protecting your home during the holidays.

  • The mere presence of the cameras acts as a deterrent.

Additional measures

Some other measures homeowners can take include:

  • Assigning someone to mow lawns, trim hedges, shovel snow or retrieve mail.
  • Affordable barking dog alarms are also great for deterring criminals.
  • Make sure you also inform neighbours or relatives about your absence so they can regularly check on your house for you.

Preparing and protecting your home before you take your next trip will help ensure you have a stress-free vacation and come back to your house just as you left it.

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