5 Ways to Increase Your Home Security While Away on Vacation
Whether you own or rent your home, the possessions in it and time you’ve spent on it are valuable, even if you want to spending as much time as possible out travelling the world. Protecting your home through home security is easier than it seems. While many homes merit the use of a full-on security system, here are five ways to increase your home security that take into account what you want to spend on this project as well as common-sense ways to avoid becoming the target for home invasion. Making your home more secure can in turn be helpful in a future effort to sell your house!
Put Living Room Lights on a Timer
Often, a simple way to increase home security is to reduce the evidence that you’re away at all. One common method is to buy a simple plug-in timer that activates in the evening from a normal ‘get-home-from-work’ time until a typical bedtime. This means that if someone is looking around at homes, attempting to target one, they think someone is home throughout the evening. Doing this just for downstairs lamps can give the home enough of a glow to make it seem someone is home.
Add a Mobile-App Doorbell Camera
One common move these days is to add a doorbell camera from any of the brands that have developed them. It allows you to set up motion-sensor notifications on your phone, which lets you know while you are off on your vacation whether anyone is coming on your front porch or front step. While you’ll probably get the odd raccoon or a mail delivery person here or there, you’ll also see if anyone comes and tries the door to evaluate if you are home. Some of these camera-based doorbells allow you to ‘answer’ the doorbell as if you are home, even if you aren’t! Investigate the features in the current version of at least two different products and decide on the one whose features you’re most likely to use when you’re on vacation.
Maintain All Doors and Window Locks In Position
One of the goals of becoming aware of home security is to get all the easy wins you can – leaving first story windows unlocked is one of those problems that is such an easy fix! Create a quick checklist for every time you’re headed out of town for more than a few hours. This can be a quick walk around the house testing door and window locks, but it can also be a longer walk at some time when you have a bit more time to think. This longer investigation should help you make choices around the outside of your home: is there a window that you frequently have open that makes expensive electronics easily visible from the street? Is there a step that makes accessing a particular window quite easy? Is there a window in your door that would be easy to break, reach in, and unlock the door? When you see these things, don’t despair, but rather, get prepared: add gauzy curtains or move your electronics, change the landscaping to make windows harder to access, and reinforce any windows near a door lock.
The goal is to make it very easy to leave your house and know that you’ve left everything in as secure a state as possible: criminals don’t want to have to make a lot of noise or get themselves hurt to get into your house, and anything you can do to make it more difficult is going to draw them to take their efforts and intents elsewhere.
Have a Friend or Neighbor Message You If They See Anything Unusual
If you live in a neighborhood, you have access to a security system that you need to tap into: your neighbors. If you have connected with any neighbors as friendly acquaintances and grown to trust them, offer to keep an eye on their property if they ever go out of town and text them if you see anyone entering the home that you don’t already know will be there. If they don’t want you to do this, that’s fine, but if they are open to it, they may be able to help you out when you are travelling! Just knowing that someone is keeping an eye out can bring a lot of peace of mind, and connected neighborhoods add just one more layer of deterrence.
Don’t Post Vacation Photos Till You’re Home
Here’s one that you might not think about, but friends of friends can often see when you’re posting vacation photos. Hopefully none of your friends’ acquaintances have bad intents, but if you share a lot online, there is a possibility of someone exploiting your sharing and making a visit to your home. By waiting until after you get home to post, you protect your family and your home from anyone with bad intent using those photos as a cue to break in.