Burglars love it when you go on holiday. Not because they want you to have some downtime, but because it’s their best chance to break into your home.
People are often too busy planning for the vacation that they forget they are leaving an empty house behind; a big welcome sign to burglars.
Even if you are just going away for a couple of days, don’t risk coming back to a vandalized house.
Use these tips to keep your home safe.
1. Wireless smart cameras
Just because you are away from home doesn’t mean you can’t still see what’s going on at home.
Surveillance cameras are now a standard part of home security. But most homeowners use them outside.
If you are going away, get a couple more and position them inside: one facing the front door and another covering the back door. You can also add another for the main living area.
Use wireless smart cameras that you can monitor from your phone wherever you are.
2. Smart lights and gadgets
An age-old trick to deter burglars is to leave the lights and TV on when you are away. In addition to being a waste of energy, most burglars are smart enough to know when they are being tricked.
After a couple of days watching your home, they’ll figure out you are actually not there.
The trick is to create a realistic someone-is-home look. Switch lights on and off intermittently and make sure it’s not just one room that is lighted.
The best way to do this is by using smart lights. You can control individual room lights from anywhere. You can even create a schedule that switches different lights on and off at specific times.
If you have a smart TV or music system, you can also set it on schedule to come on and go off at certain times.
3. Secure outdoor enclosures
Don’t forget to secure the outdoors. Garages and outdoor sheds are the most vulnerable. You’ll might come home to find all your expensive tools and kids’ bikes missing.
Make sure the doors are locked tight. An outdoor security light and a surveillance camera can also help to deter any potential burglars.
If you cannot fully secure the shed, bring any valuable items into the house where they will be safer.
4. Halt any deliveries or make sure they are secure
If you’d already ordered something, check with the retailer or courier about changing the delivery date. Most delivery companies are flexible with their schedules.
Packages stacked outside the door are a big draw to burglars and even run of the mill daytime thieves.
Alternatively install a secure parcel drop box.
This is a parcel box where packages can be dropped into and no one can take them out. It will also come in handy when you come back home. Packages can be delivered safely even when you are at work.
5. Ask your neighbour for help
Even if you have cameras watching over the inside and outside, it never hurts to have a pair of human eyes looking for any trouble.
Ask your neighbour to keep an eye on your house while you are away. They can also be a big help in case of an emergency like a fire.
You should also leave the keys with them instead of hiding them under the mat or your ‘secret’ hiding place. It’s easy for a burglar to figure out where you might have hidden the key.
If you can’t leave the key with a neighbour, give it to a friend or family member who lives nearby. It’s much more secure that way.
Be careful about announcing your holiday on social media or in online forums. If you have to, don’t be specific with the dates.
Thieves have also gone digital. They can use social media to scout for those houses that will be empty.
When you post pictures from your vacation make sure you have properly set your privacy settings. The posts should only be seen by trusted friends and family members.
Make sure your kids also understand this, especially if you have teens. Generally, it’s best to wait until you are back home before you post any pictures on social media.