Five tips to secure your home before you travel

Beware of dog by oknidius, on Flickr

When it comes to travel preparation, people usually think of packing their things and arranging transportation, but there is so much more to it. In fact, there’s one very important thing that most travel prep checklists tend to gloss over and that’s securing the home.

Keeping your home secure is something that should really go without saying but each and every year more and more homes are broken into while people are on vacation. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to protect your home from burglary while you’re away including:

  • Decent lighting
  • Managing mail
  • Home security
  • Keeping quiet
  • Fortifying doors

Let’s look at these in greater detail.

Decent lighting

Most of the time criminals aren’t going to bother letting themselves in if they suspect that someone is home. When the lights are on, it’s more likely that someone is home, and you can convey this illusion with timer switches (for inside the home) and motion lights (for outside the home). Both of these can be purchased at major hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s and they do a great job of giving a home a “lived-in” feel.

Managing mail

Probably one of the more overlooked pieces of advice is the importance of putting a hold on your mail delivery while you’re away. It falls in line with what was mentioned earlier about conveying the illusion that someone is home. If you don’t put a hold on your mail and newspaper delivery, then that stuff is just going to stack up – clearly indicating your absence. Even better may be have a neighbor pick up your mail for you, because sadly even someone at the post office or newspaper might tip off a criminal associate about a delivery hold. And that way, too, you have someone who can look in on the property.

Home security

If you watch a lot of TV or spend a decent amount of time online, then you know that there is no shortage of home security providers in this country. There are lots of sites out there to choose from like that you can check out online for more information on this. A security system would not only help secure the home, it would also grant you greater peace of mind – enabling you to focus on the trip and less on what may or may not be happening at home.

Keeping quiet

What I mean when I say “keeping quiet” is refraining from telling the whole world about your trip. Not everyone on Facebook needs to know just how long you are going to be out of the house. You should also refrain from leaving any notes on the door that might tip people off to your absence. If you have the neighbor coming over to water your plants or feed your fish, instead of leaving them a note and a key under the mat, hand these things over in person, before you leave.

Fortifying doors

Contrary to popular belief, most criminals let themselves in through the front and back doors. If the front door isn’t sturdy enough, any seasoned burglar can pretend to be delivering a package and then, when no one’s looking, back-kick their way in. Those sliding glass back doors are especially easy to get into thanks to the weak locking mechanisms.

You can fortify the front door by purchasing a strong dead-bolt and you may even consider replacing the entire door with a solid-core model. As for the sliding glass doors, a two-by-four cut to length should be more than enough to obstruct the sliding track.

Peace of mind

Securing the home does more than does more than just minimize the chances of a break-in. Following these tips can give you greater peace of mind while you are abroad. After all, who wants to set sail for fun in the sun only to be bogged down with worry about the home front?

How do you protect your home when you’re away? Please share your tips in the comments!

Image source: flickr (oknidus)

This entry was posted in Travel Tips and tagged , by Tanya. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tanya

Tanya is the project manager for Pic4Pass, with over 16 years experience in project management, customer service and marketing for high tech companies. An avid traveler who grew up in a bilingual German-American household, several years ago she, her husband and cat left the US for a chance to work in Austria. She enjoys traveling throughout Europe as well as exploring her adopted home town of Vienna. And she loves living without a car or TV.

5 thoughts on “Five tips to secure your home before you travel

  1. Pingback: Profile of a burglar (infographic) | Pic4Pass Blog

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