The word “summer” brings to mind images of stress free, sunshine filled days. Of barbecues, running through sprinklers and of finally spending time with your loved ones after a packed school year. What we fail to think of is the burglars on the lookout for empty houses. As more and more people leave for summer vacations, they leave their homes vulnerable to break-ins. SecuSmart Solutions is here to help you increase your Peace of Mind on vacation by providing tips to make sure your home stays protected while you’re away.
An Empty Mailbox
Be sure to hold your mail and delay your deliveries, since a stuffed mailbox can alert criminals to an empty house. Whether they be online purchases or packages from family, make sure no packages are left at your doorstep while you’re on vacation since it lets burglars know there’s no one home. Also be sure to contact your post office thirty days in advance and arrange for your mail to be held there until you return, rather than sent to your mailbox.
A Full Driveway
A driveway that is kept empty for too long can alert criminals to an empty home. Ask friends to park in your drive way for a few hours at a time, since a driveway where the cars never move can have the same effect.
A Tidy Lawn
Consider hiring a landscaper or asking a friend to keep your front yard looking neat if you know you will be gone for extended periods of time. An overgrown lawn and a disheveled looking front yard gives the impression that there’s no one home to take care of it and can tip off burglars to an empty home.
Put appliances like lamps, radios or television sets on a timer so they turn on and off on a schedule during your absence, therefore giving the impression that there’s someone still home.
It might be useful to invest in a home safe to keep your valuables locked away while on your vacation, in case a break in does happen. If this is not possible, make sure your valuables are well hidden.
An Emergency Contact
It could be helpful to assign a trusted friend or family member to act as your emergency contact, leaving their information with important industries such as your bank and security company. If anything were to happen while you were gone these industries would have somebody to contact who could make decisions and take appropriate action from home. A phone you could use from abroad might also be helpful to keep you in good communication with your emergency contact.
A Lack of Spare Keys
No matter how well you think your spare keys are hidden, do not keep any of them outside your home. This practice gives burglars incredibly easy access to your home and finding these spare keys only takes a little bit of determination. The best course of action is to give your spare key directly to your emergency contact and have them keep it for the duration of your trip.
Alert Your Bank & Security Company
Make sure to let your bank know of your destination so they don’t flag your vacation purchases as unusual activity. Also make sure to alert your security company of your vacation and leave them with your emergency contact’s information in case anything happens in your absence.
Phone Numbers on Luggage
Place your phone number rather than your address on your luggage, since it’s contents can always be tracked back to you and your home, helping criminals to target you while you are away.
Be Careful Online
Be mindful of what you post on social media, making sure to always leave out the duration of your vacation or your exact location both away and at home. You can never be sure how many people your posts are reaching and giving away so much information leaves you vulnerable to a break –in
Other Tips for Your Home
- Lock as many doors and windows as possible
- Unplug all electric appliances
- Shut off gas and water to prevent leaks
- Activate your home security system