Burglaries can happen at any time, but they are much more likely to occur when you are away from home on vacation if you don’t take certain steps to properly protect your home while you are away. While you may already lock all your doors and windows when you’re not home, and arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail while you’re on vacation, here are a few additional safety tips to keep in mind while you are away on vacation:
Most locks on homes are only class one security locks. This is done by the construction company to save money. These locks are very easy to drill through or pound off with a large heavy object such as a brick or hammer. This leaves complete access to your home and valuables. The true standard for a home should be to have class two or better locks on all outside doors. This is because class two locks are made from hardened steel and designed for more secure structures such as hospitals and prisons. Any locks with a class two or higher rating are sure to add more protection to your home’s outside doors.
It’s never a good idea to have any sign of high-end purchases on display outside your home. You should never display high-end, expensive purchases on social media or leave empty boxes out on the curb. It’s best to break the boxes down to fit into the trash can so nobody knows what valuables are inside the home. You also don’t want to advertise the fact that you will be away from home on vacation. This means not posting about your vacation on social media until after you have returned, and doing something that makes it look like someone is home such as leaving a car parked in your driveway and lights on within your home.
Keeping things out of sight and out of mind most certainly applies when leaving your home on vacation or an extended trip. Thieves commonly prospect homes by “window shopping” and target your home based on what they can see in the windows. It is best to keep valuables away from windows and out of sight, even when you are home. When you are going to be away on vacation or away for an extended period of time, you should take an extra step of precaution by locking your valuables away in a lockbox or safe. If you do have any valuables that will remain in sight from a window, you should make sure your windows are covered with heavy, dark curtains, especially while you are away from home.
Keeping lights on within your home while you are away on vacation is statistically shown to reduce the chance of your home being broken into. Having a well-manicured lawn and shrubs will also be a deterrent as it makes it easier for your neighbors to keep an eye on your home and spot any potential criminal activity. Having flood lights outside your home that are strategically placed in common areas will help bring attention to someone approaching your home when they should not be.
Another way to help discourage crime is by being observant in your neighborhood and encouraging your neighbors to do the same. Areas in which residents report suspicious activity to the authorities typically have lower crime rates, according to the National Neighborhood Watch program. If your neighborhood doesn’t have an official watch program, your local police department may be able to provide information and training to help residents be more aware.