How to Secure Your Home When You Are Away on Vacation

When you are looking ahead to a fun-filled vacation, you might tend to forget about the valuables you are leaving behind. But, protecting your home while on vacation is as important as the vacation itself. Knowing how to secure your home before you go allows you to travel with peace of mind and confidence. Here are some valuable tips on how you can secure your home while you are away on vacation:

Purchase a home monitoring system

Home security is essential, and there are several options from which to choose from. Some systems will allow you to view video remotely from your phone, so you can see what is happening in real-time. A security system is a relatively small investment that could provide a significant amount of comfort.

If you already have a home security system with security cameras, check that the cameras, smoke detectors, and all other components are working properly. Also, make sure your smart home devices are programmed correctly.

Pause delivery of your mail and newspapers

Full mailboxes and newspapers piling up on the front porch inform the entire neighborhood (including potential burglars) that you are not home. If you do not have a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member available to collect your mail and paper, contact your newspaper company to stop deliveries and fill out a “temporary mail-hold” form at the post office or through USPS.com.

Do not post your vacation plans on social media

There is a good chance you have heard this advice before, but it is worth repeating: Do not broadcast your plans to go on vacation on social media (also remind your kids not to post anything). You don’t know who will see this information, and that is especially true if you have quite a few followers or a public profile. There will be plenty of opportunities to share your good times, along with pictures, after you have returned home.

Keep up on regular yard maintenance

If you are going to be gone for more than a few days, your lawn and garden will need attention. Long grass and weeds can alert the wrong people that you are not at home for an extended period of time. Be sure that your current lawn care service continues to mow your grass or hire someone to cut it and pull any weeds that crop up in your normally weed-free flower beds. 

If you are heading to a warmer climate in winter, make arrangements to have your snow removed as well.

Leave a key with a friend or family member, not under the mat

While you can put a hold on mail and newspaper deliveries, you don’t know when flyers or forgotten Amazon orders will show up at your front door. Have a trusted friend or family member stop by every day to check for any unexpected deliveries.  While they are there, ask them to take out your trash cans if you weren’t able to before leaving, and retrieve them later. You can also ask them to also water your plants, either indoors or outdoors.

Remember, thieves know where to look for a hidden key, so give your spare key to a friend or family member instead.

Lock up your valuables in a household safe

Burglars want to get in and out of your house quickly, so they are looking for expensive items that they can grab quickly. You can thwart their efforts with a home safe. Keep in mind that many thieves want to steal your identity as much as they want your possessions, so lock up any personal identification, including your social security cards and any financial statements. You can also take extra precautions and store these valuables in a safety deposit box through your bank.

Lock all doors and windows

This piece of advice seems too obvious until you look at statistics that show nearly a third of burglars enter. The property through unlocked doors. Windows are another weak spot, so keep them locked, even those on upper floors. Experienced burglars will find an open window no matter where it is located.

Disconnect the garage door

Many of today’s criminals can hack into technology. Thieves can open some garage doors using universal remotes, so play it safe and turn off the opener. Use a manual lock in its place.

Use lights to give the impression that someone is home

Darkness is yet another sign of an empty house. Either leave a few lights on or choose smart lighting that works off a timer or can be turned on remotely. Motion detector lights that will illuminate intruders are also effective at discouraging them.

Advertise your security system

A security system will definitely dissuade burglars, so let them know you have one. Place stickers at all entry points, and plant a sign with the security company’s name on it in your front and back yard.

Protect your personal property with the appropriate homeowners insurance coverage

Talk to an NSI Insurance Group expert for advice on how to secure your home when you are away, questions about your homeowners insurance coverage, or anything insurance. Just fill out our contact form, call us at 305-556-1488, or send us a message at info@nsigroup.org.

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