There was an old poster that hung in my 6th grade teacher’s classroom. It said, “The top three reasons for being a teacher: June, July, and August.” Mrs. Krenshaw was a great teacher, but she REALLY enjoyed her summers off. And you should too! This is the perfect time of the year to pack the family up for a vacation. During that vacation, you shouldn’t have to worry about such things as a home burglary or break in. We’ll explore some great safety tips today to help you gain that valuable peace of mind when you’re on your family vacation this summer.
To secure your home, you need to take steps to make it look like your home is still occupied and attended to. You can accomplish this in a few different ways. First, you can ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway while you’re away. This makes it look like the home is still occupied during the time you’re gone and it may be a nice perk for the neighbor to be able to have more off-street parking available to them for a while. While you are talking to your neighbors about parking, you can also ask them to keep an eye out for suspicious activity while you’re away. Another great favor they can do for you is to check your mail. Mail sitting in your mailbox and piling up can be a prime target for burglars and identity thieves.
Bonus tip: if your neighbor can’t park in your driveway, shell out the extra cash to take an Uber or Taxi to the airport so you can leave your own car in the driveway or in front of the house. This will help people think you are still home at first glance.
Smart Home Security
Invest in some smart outlets for your house lights. For about $21 bucks, you can get two smart outlets that connect to your home AI device like an Alexa or Google Home. Once you connect your AI device to the smart plugs, you can set a schedule for lights to turn on and off in different areas of your house. This will again make it appear that the house is being occupied while you are away. Or, if you prefer the old fashioned route, you can purchase analog timers for your outlets that let you control your lights without having to own a home AI device. These can be found here on Amazon for about $11 plus shipping.
Locking Up and Securing Entryways
If you have friends or family closeby, you can have them stop by the house each day or every other day to check on things, take out the trash (if needed), and make sure there are no water or gas leaks or break in attempts. Always lock your doors and windows while you are away and if you have a sliding glass door, invest in a wooden or metal blocking dowel that can prevent the door from opening even if the lock is broken or bypassed. Sliding glass doors pose a huge threat to home security. Make sure your doggy doors and other pet doors are securely locked and barricaded as necessary. Many larger doggy doors can allow a smaller person to crawl through, or are large enough for someone with long arms to reach through and unlock the door entirely.
Smart Security System
If you already have a security system, then you are well ahead of most people. One extra step you can take is to give your login credentials to a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member. They can also keep an eye on monitoring the system remotely and can receive updates and get to your house quickly in case of an alarm. You may not be within cell or wifi range the entire time and you could easily miss an important security alert. If you don’t have an alarm or camera system, then we suggest you invest in one soon! You can find many security camera options out there, but a good place to start is the Ring System for about $99.
Lastly, don’t post the fact that you are going on vacation on social media! Just post when you get back in order to prevent tech savvy burglars from casing you from Facebook or Instagram. Have a safe and fun summer out there and remember to take an active role in keeping your house secure while on vacation.