With spring weather finally warming up our cold toes, it will soon be time for long, sun-filled summer vacations. With all the excitement of planning these getaways, we often forget about certain details, like what happens to your house while you are away? When leaving your house empty, if only for a few days, you are unfortunately also leaving it vulnerable to burglary. Here are 5 simple tips on how to keep your home safe while you’re out exploring this summer.
1) Be Social Media Savvy
These days nearly everyone, including sometimes not so savvy parents or grandparents, has hopped on board with social media. It’s fun to post pictures and updates about current or upcoming vacation plans, but not so fast. You never know who might be following you and be able to see what you post on Facebook. Professionals are able to use your updates to determine if your house is empty and therefore an easy target. Make sure your privacy settings are updated and secure, or better yet, save the social media updates until you get home.
2) Hide Valuables
If your house looks like it is closed up and empty, it’s inviting for burglars to peek into windows and take an inventory of what they could make away with. Put away any laptops or tablets, don’t leave purses or bags in view and even try drawing the curtains to hide a large TV.
3) Cancel Newspapers
Nothing shows an empty house like a pile of newspapers or mail on the front step. Try to put a hold on deliveries, ask a neighbour to take in your mail, or have the post office divert mail if you will be away for a couple months.
4) Buddy System
Along with asking your neighbours to collect your mail, also ask if they will keep an eye on your property while you are away, maybe even cut the grass or water the garden. You can then return the favour when they leave town! This can also help with any potential insurance claims, as some policies require an empty house be checked periodically to minimize potential damages.
5) Alarms and Timers
Make a trip to your local home improvement store and pick up some light timers or get an integrated alarm system. There are now many smart home systems available that allow you to set timers for lights or even control lights through an app on your phone. This will give the illusion that there is someone home and acts as a deterrent to potential burglars.
When it comes to protecting your home during the summer, prevention is key. Taking time to plan ahead now can save both headaches and money later on.