Keep Your Home Safe While on Vacation


Crack in glass. Broken glass close up.

Imagine coming home after a nice week away on vacation. You’re the nice kind of tired, refreshed and ready to tackle a new week at work. But as you approach your house, something isn’t right. As you go inside, it finally hits you. Somebody has broken in while you’re away.

Don’t let that happen to you. Here are four ways you can protect your home while you’re away.

Be social media savvy

It’s amazing how much information people are willing to share on things like Facebook and Twitter. These days, thieves are a little more advanced than they used to be. All somebody needs to do is pay attention to your Facebook updates, and they can know exactly when you’re leaving, where you’re going, and when you’re going to be back. It’s not like they’re even coercing the information out of you. You’re volunteering it. By being smart about your updates, you can save yourself trouble. It’s easy too, instead of posting while you’re away, just wait until you get back and post all your fun pictures then. Or at the very least, check your privacy settings to make sure random people can’t read your updates. Maybe nobody needs to hear about the tiniest details of your life as they happen.

Have someone check

A little known clause in some home insurance policies says that your house must be checked at least once a day while you’re gone. That way if a pipe bursts or something like that, the damage can be minimized. Getting somebody to come by while you’re on holidays is smart for other reasons, too. Things like built up mail or an un-mowed lawn are easy giveaways that nobody is home. There’s nothing the bad guys like more than a family obviously on vacation. Even if somebody watching doesn’t catch the thief, they can call the police and get them on the case relatively quickly.

Get an alarm system

The easiest way to protect your home while you’re gone is to get an alarm system. But at $40-$50 per month, it might seem like a little much to spend just on protection while you’re gone, especially if you don’t use it while you’re at home. Instead, do what I did. I asked someone I know who works at a security company for a couple of stickers I could put on my window. Now, whenever somebody checks out my house from the street, they can see the prominent sticker right on the front door advertising my nonexistent alarm system. As long as the bad guys think I have one, they’ll go to the next house. But if a home security system is what you’re after, there are now affordable and easy-to-install home alarm systems that even allow you to monitor your home even if you’re away, with a mobile app feature. These usually come with the important components like motion sensors, door and window sensors, and CCTV cameras.

Timers

For just a few dollars, you can buy a system that attaches to your lamps, your living room lights, or whatever else you want to illuminate while you’re not around. These days, you can even buy timers that you control from your smartphone, which allow you to turn on the lights at random times and not just the same time each night. It just makes sense. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By taking a few easy steps before you leave, you can greatly minimize the chance of a break-in happening while you’re gone. The last thing you want to come back to is a busted window and the creepy feeling of knowing someone has broken in.

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