home security tips

8 Home Security Tips for When You Are Away

It’s important to have peace of mind that your home will be safe while you are on vacation. Don’t worry. These home security tips will help you to decrease the possibility of a burglar targeting your house.

Create the illusion you are home

Set your house lights on a timer so they come on at specific times of the day. Also, light up your porch or yard with a timed controller. Of course, not everybody has these setups, but there are other things you can do. Leave your home’s shades and blinds as you typically do and park a car in your driveway. Arrange for someone to mow your lawn and clip your hedges if you plan on being away for more than a week. This is a super simple home security tip that makes it look like your family is not away.

Lock all doors

Here’s a simple but easily forgotten home security tip: Lock all your doors securely. If possible, use thick cylinder locks. Millions of homes are broken into every year and this simple step is a good start to making sure yours is not one of them. Experts say every exterior door should have a deadbolt. If your doors still have the same locks they had decades ago, it might be time for an upgrade. Do your research to find which types of locks tend to be more resistant to being picked and purchase them.

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Ask your neighbors for help

If you have a neighbor that you trust, ask them to watch your property while you are away – and do the same for them when they travel. Ask them to pick up your mail, circulars and newspapers, which helps to create the appearance that you are at home. If a neighbor can’t assist you, and you don’t have any family members in the area that can help, request that your post office cancel deliveries while you’re away and hold your mail.

Don’t advertise that you’re on vacation

Resist the temptation to write about your upcoming trip on social media and wait until you return to post all the great photos you’ve taken during your travels. Crafty crooks can discern that you are away from home via your posts on public feeds and use it to their advantage.

Hide your valuables

Fill up a fireproof safe with your expensive jewelry, family heirlooms, the deed to your home, wills and any other important documents that you want to keep safe. While you’re at it, you should also toss in your home inventory list. A home inventory is a room-by-room list or video of everything you own (and receipts when possible) that can help expedite the claims process in the event that they are damaged or stolen. You should also check with your insurance agent to see what’s covered from theft in your homeowner insurance policy.

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home security tips

Invest in a good alarm system

Research the best types of alarm systems and be sure yours is working and set when you leave your house. If you’re going to be away for an extended period, you may want to alert your security system provider prior to your trip. You can also deter thieves by advertising that you have an alarm system. Put an alarm company sign or sticker in a prominent spot near your door to let potential burglars know your home is armed.

Exterior and indoor cameras are also a solid investment for peace of mind while you’re away. Easily accessible via a connected app on your phone or tablet, you can monitor your home from wherever you are.

Unplug appliances

It’s a good idea to unplug any unnecessary appliances such as computers, televisions, coffee makers and microwaves to protect your property from an electrical fire or power surge while you’re gone. For appliances you can’t easily unplug, like your oven, ease your mind that all burners and functions are set to off mode by taking a photo before leaving.

If you’re traveling in the winter, you can turn down the heat to save money, but don’t turn it down below 55 degrees or you could run a risk of your pipes freezing and bursting. In the summer, turn down your air conditioning, depending on how hot you expect it to be while you’re gone. (Consider these your home security tips for disasters not caused by greedy burglars.)

Form a crime watch

Enlist your neighbors to create a group to keep an eye on properties in your community. Often, you can form a neighborhood crime watch with the assistance of your local police department. And, obviously, always report suspicious activity on your block as soon as you see it.

If you have any other home security tips that you’d like to add, share them in the comment section.

Make sure your valuables are covered. Learn more about AAA home and condo insurance in your state. 

6 Thoughts on “8 Home Security Tips for When You Are Away

  1. Forward your mail to a family member or trustworthy friend, particularly if you are away for an extended time. If the time span is shorter then have the P.O. hold your mail.

  2. Incoming water should be turned off while your away winter or summer. this way IF your water pipes burst, it will only be a gallon or so of water to be cleaned up and not a basement full.

  3. I always put my car in the garage, whether I’m home or not. That way if someone was casing my house, they would have to go up to the garage to see if my car was in there. That would look suspicious. One of my neighbors is a retired detective, and the other is a police officer.

  4. I would hesitate to have a family member check my house while I was away. My house was broken into and my mother found that out when she checked….but what if she had interrupted the thieves? It could have been so much worse.

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