Summer is the time of year when most people tend to go on vacation. It also happens to be the time when most burglaries occur.
In order to get the most out of your relaxing summer vacation without having to worry about your home and prized possessions, it’s important to take precautions and vacation-proof your home before you pack your bags and head out of town.
Here are ten of the best ways to prepare your home for an extended or summer vacation (or some other long absence).
Our Top Tips for Securing Your Home on Vacation
10 Strategies to Vacation-Proof Your Home
1.) Install a Home Security System
Get a professional home security system that includes an alarm system and video surveillance installed before you go on vacation. This will allow you to monitor your home security right from your smartphone and is a big deterrent to would-be burglars.
Make sure that surveillance cameras are placed in easily visible locations. Also, put up stickers and decals to advertise your home security system outside near the most obvious entry points like doors and ground floor windows.
Key components of a strong home security system:
- Alarm system
- Visible surveillance cameras
- Door and window decals
2.) Install Laminated Security Glass
Reinforcing vulnerable entry points like windows and doors is the best way to physically keep intruders out of your home and prevent a home break-in while you’re on vacation.
Standard window glass is incredibly easy to break, which means that burglars can gain entry to your home through an unsecured window or door in just a matter of seconds.
Laminated security glass solves this problem by adding an invisible, virtually unbreakable layer of protection on top of your existing glass.
Laminated security glass panels, such as Riot Glass shields, can be retrofitted onto your home window and door glass and are much more affordable than completely replacing your existing glass.
This type of glass withstands deliberate attacks by determined individuals using common burglary tools like hammers and crowbars, making it one of the most effective ways to protect your home from burglary.
Though a security system is recommended, installing laminated security glass is one of the best ways to secure your home without an alarm while on vacation.
Benefits of laminated security glass for home security:
- Reinforces vulnerable entry points
- Creates physical barrier to forced entry
- Invisible protection
- Can be retrofitted into existing framing
- Cost-effective solution
- Stands up against common burglary tools
3.) Set up Light Timers
Purchase several light timers to install in different rooms to prepare your house for a long absence. Pick timers with the option of having lights turn on and off at random times so it’s more difficult for would-be burglars to tell if you’re home.
If you’re leaving your house empty while on holiday vacation, this is an affordable and easy-to-install home security measure that makes it appear as if someone is present, especially at night, when burglars are prowling through neighborhoods.
Tips for using light timers:
- Use multiple timers
- Set up timers in different parts of the house
- Program timers to turn on randomly
4.) Put up Motion Detector Lights
Add motion sensing security lights to the outside of your home to illuminate easy access points like your driveway, front door, walkways, backyard, and back or side doors.
The lights will turn on if anyone tries to approach your home to break in while you’re gone and take away the cover of darkness to deter them.
You could also install smart outdoor lighting that you can turn on and off remotely or schedule to come on at night.
Where to put motion sensor lights:
- Next to all doors
- Walkways and paths
5.) Maintain Your Landscaping During Your Absence
Trim back bushes and shrubs that could provide potential cover for burglars and cut your lawn before you leave. Keep any landscaping services you normally use scheduled during your absence, so nothing appears out of the ordinary while you’re gone.
A tidy yard and activity around the outside of your home will make it look more occupied and like less of a potential target for a break-in.
6.) Have Someone Stop By Regularly
Give a key to a friend, relative, or trusted neighbor and ask them to swing by your place every day or two.
Have them pick up any mail so it doesn’t accumulate and give away the fact that you aren’t home. They can also perform any minor tasks you need done while you’re gone like watering plants or putting out the trash and recycling.
Also, if burglars are monitoring houses in your neighborhood, someone coming and going regularly and signs of activity are deterrents to burglary.
Tasks for your helper:
- Collect mail and take it inside
- Put out the trash and recycling
- Water plants
7.) Don’t Leave Hide-a-Keys
Hide-a-keys might seem convenient to you, but burglars know where to look for them. Don’t make it easy for a would-be burglar to walk into your home by leaving them a key.
Leave spare keys with family, friends, or neighbors instead, even when you aren’t on vacation. The convenience of a readily available hide-a-key is not worth the risk of losing your valuable possessions.
8.) Hide Valuables Out of Sight
Remove valuables from where they can be seen through windows or doors to protect your home from burglary.
Put smaller items away in drawers or closets and move large items to different rooms where they aren’t easily visible. Don’t forget to conceal any high-value items in your garage as well.
If a burglar can’t see anything of value, they are less likely to target your home for a break-in.
Ways to conceal valuables:
- Close curtains, drapes, and blinds
- Place small items inside drawers and closets
- Move large valuables to out-of-sight rooms
9.) Don’t Advertise Your Vacation Or Long Absence on Social Media
Though it might be tempting to let everyone on your social networks know where you’re going on summer vacation, it’s better to keep a low profile and not advertise that your home will be empty.
Wait until you get back from vacation to upload your beach photos and tell everyone about how much fun you had. Also, make sure your address is not posted on any of your social media.
10.) Ensure That All Your Doors and Windows Are Secure
Test out all your doors and windows a week or two before you go on vacation to ensure they are all in working order. This way, you can get anything that isn’t closing or locking properly repaired before you leave town.
Double-check that everything is securely closed and locked on the day you leave for vacation.
How to secure windows and doors on vacation:
- Test all locking mechanisms 1-2 weeks before you leave
- Repair any damaged locks
- Install additional locking mechanisms like deadbolts
- Use bars or sticks to keep sliding doors and windows secure
Keeping Your Home Safe While on Vacation Should Not Be Overlooked
Always Take Steps to Vacation-Proof Your Home
With all the excitement of a holiday, it’s easy to overlook home security while on vacation.
However, imagine how devastating it would be to come home after a summer trip, still buzzing from the experiences you had, only to find that criminals have ransacked your home.
That’s why it’s imperative to think about how to stop burglars from targeting your home while you’re out of town.
You should implement as many of the home security ideas from this list as possible so that you can have total peace of mind on your vacation.