Home security may not be foremost on your mind when you’re planning your summer vacation. But once you’ve purchased your travel tickets and booked your accommodations, take some steps to keep your home safe and secure while you’re away. Nothing’s more of a buzzkill than returning from a great trip to find your home ransacked and your stuff stolen.
Reading the tips below is a good start:
1. Halt mail and newspaper delivery service.
You can sign up online to have the USPS hold your mail at your local post office for free for 30 days. You can also ask a neighbor to pick up your mail and papers – and offer to do the same for them when they travel. Piled up mail and newspapers are a sure sign you’re away.
2. Block entry through your sliding glass patio door.
Secure your glass patio door by using a broom handle or metal pipe as a wedge in the middle bottom track of the door slide. Make sure it’s a tight fit.
3. Don’t publicly promote your absence.
Why announce to the world that you’re away? Save posting trip pics until you get home. Don’t change your voicemail message. Make your out-of-office email reply vague. Simply say, “I am temporarily out of the office. If you need immediate assistance, please contact (name) at (email address). Otherwise I will reply when I return. Thank you.”
4. Don’t tape notes for delivery or service people to your doors.
This serves as advertising to burglars that you’re away. Instead contact them directly via their phones or company website.
5. Install a surveillance system and not just cameras.
Security systems that depend on you to monitor your phone may not help when your phone’s on airplane mode. Or you’re snorkeling, hiking or listening to a tour guide. Deep Sentinel’s 24/7 trained surveillance agents call the police for you when your property’s perimeter is breached.
6. Trim trees and shrubs.
Spring and summer leafing out of your trees and shrubs may be lovely but not when it shields burglars robbing your home. Be sure to trim all that lush foliage away from your windows and doors.
7. Leave on lights, radio and TV using a programmable timer.
Confuse would-be thieves by leaving on a few bright lights as well as TV and/or radio with the volume up to a level that can be heard from your front door. Make sure to use a programmable timer. Here at Deep Sentinel, we like the Honeywell Home light switch timer that includes a random setting to really fool thieves.
8. Stash valuables.
Thieves often scoop up jewelry, watches, and cash left lying in plain sight on top of dressers and night tables. Put all your stuff away before you go. Thieves aim to be in and out of a house in less than 10 minutes.
9. Shut and lock all windows and doors.
Do this even if you’re going on a day trip. Many thieves simply hop in through open windows and doors. (If you tend to be forgetful, consider getting a smart lock you can monitor and program though a phone app.) Also close all curtains, shades and blinds.
10. Make sure your outdoor lighting includes motion sensors and/or a timer.
Many thieves prefer to do their evil deeds under the cover of darkness. Bright outdoor lighting that flashes on when motion is detected can be a deterrent. Or you can use a programmable timer (see #8 above.)