When you’re getting ready to go away for that well-deserved winter vacation or the long trip to visit relatives in another state, what are the top things on your mind? You are probably looking forward with relish to all the nice places you plan to visit and the happy moments you will share with your loved ones.
But while looking forward to where you are going, it also pays to look at the home you are leaving behind. You want to be sure that when you return from that happy holiday, your home will be just the way you left it. The last thing you want is to have a burglary incident at your home sour up your mood on your return.
But that is a very real possibility.
Did you know that the highest number of break-ins in the USA happens during the summer months and winter holidays? These are the times of the year when American homes are most likely to be unoccupied because families go on vacation or take trips to visit friends and family. The Christmas and New Year seasons are also when people have lots of valuable presents in their homes.
If you are planning to be away from your home during these periods of the year, it makes sense to take some steps to safeguard your belongings. The cost of these precautionary steps is nothing compared to the feelings of violation that will certainly follow a burglary in your home, explains East Bay Property Management. Below are security tips and advice you can implement today as you plan your summer getaway.
1. Illuminate your home
Proper lighting around your home makes it harder for a burglar to break into the home. Even the most daring thief will hesitate if there is a chance that they will be seen. Installing timer switches on some of the lights inside the home can help create the illusion that there is someone in the home.
Motion-detector lights will automatically come on when they sense movement within the premises. This can help to alert neighbors or serve as a deterrent to thieves.
2. Make Windows more secure
All burglars look for the easiest point of entry into the home. That’s why 23% of burglars enter the home through a first-floor window that is left open. By securing your windows, you make a burglar’s life more difficult and discourage them from breaking into your home.
Windows locks should be strong enough to withstand brute force attacks. Window security cameras are an additional layer of security. But simply remembering to lock the window is the most important first step.
3. Secure your doors
A disproportionately large number of burglars gain access to the home through the front door. Many times, all they need is a simple credit card to pick up the lock. Homeowners are often surprisingly unaware of the security limitations of ordinary handle locks.
At the very minimum, what you need are quality deadbolts on all outside leading doors, not just the front door. Remember that deadbolts are no use if the door itself is weak; make sure your doors are sturdy.
4. Trim tall trees and overgrown bushes
Anything that provides cover or a hiding place will encourage burglars to target your home. You can eliminate hidden or shadowy areas from the yard by keeping bushes and trees trimmed. Look around the yard and try to see your home from the viewpoint of a criminal. If you have places where a thief might wait until nightfall to break into your home or anything that provides cover for an intruder, remove these.
5. Install a home security system
A home security system is indispensable for creating peace of mind when you are away from your home. Home security systems have become a lot more affordable and easy to use, and it is not hard to find one that is perfectly suited to the needs of your home.
Most of them let you monitor your home from any location in the world, where there is an internet connection. You can also pair them with the smart technology in your home for even greater control.
6. Don’t let the home look deserted
A home that looks unoccupied is an irresistible target for burglars. Do not give potential intruders a hint that there is no one at home. Giveaway signs that a home is unoccupied include overflowing mailboxes and the absence of lights at night. To solve the problem, ask the post office to hold your mail until you return or have someone pick them up. Install timer switches that randomly switch on the lights in various rooms.
7. Be discreet
Thieves are always on the lookout for telltale signs that there are costly items inside a home. Avoid actions that draw attention to your home; resist the temptation to show off. Keep valuables out of the view of passersby.
Do not leave packaging on the curb; after emptying gift boxes, dismantle and stuff them in garbage bags. Consider keeping some of your valuables in a safety deposit box in a different location.