By Christy Woodrow
1. Get a home monitoring system.
Home security is absolutely essential and there’s many options to choose from, so make sure you opt for one that fits your home. Some home security systems even allow you to view live video remotely from your phone, so you can see what’s happening in real-time. This small investment is well worth your peace of mind!
2. Keep up on regular home maintenance.
Do you normally have gardeners keep up your lawn and landscaping? Weekly visits from the pool guy? Keep these schedules. If any potential thief is staking out houses, they’ll notice if something is off.
3. Leave a key with a friend or family member.
While you can put a hold on newspapers and mail, you can’t predict when random flyers or forgotten Amazon orders will be left at the front door. By having a trusted friend or family member stop by every day or two, you can avoid unexpected deliveries being left out and also have normal routines (watering plants, bringing trash cans to the curb) carried out. Don’t forget to compensate them for their help!
4. Hold your mail and newspapers.
Fully stuffed mailboxes and yellowing newspapers piled in the driveway are dead giveaways that you aren’t home. If you don’t have a friend or family member available to stop by your house while you’re gone to bring in the paper and mail, contact your newspaper service to stop deliveries and fill out a mail-hold form.
5. Keep a low profile on social media.
It’s well-known that you shouldn’t advertise vacations online (or anywhere, for that matter) before taking off your trip, but maybe even more importantly is double-checking your social media sites to ensure your address is not readily available to anyone seeking it.
Delete any past posts, party invites, or Facebook events that may include your phone number as well, as its all too easy to do a quick Google search and link a phone number to an address!
6. Lock up valuables in a safe.
Any run-of-the-mill thieve knows to check the bedroom first for valuables, so get a small safe and keep them secure. If shelling out money for a safe isn’t an option, put valuables somewhere unusual like a kitchen pantry or bathroom closet in an inconspicuous container.
7. Don’t leave a hide-a-key.
I can tell you from personal experience that potential thieves will always look for the hidden key, and they will find it. This spare key is the one you should be giving to a friend or family member.
8. Install an outdoor sensor light.
It’s simple install for those of you who aren’t tech-savvy, and you can pick one up on Amazon for less than $20. Motion-sensor flood lights can also prove to be useful year-round for general home security whether you’re home or not, and often are equipped with technology to have them turn off and on at certain times of the day.
We also highly recommend setting up a few timers for your indoor lights. Giving the impression that someone is home every night could deter those unwanted guests.
9. Disconnect your garage door.
It’s no secret that technology can be easily hacked, especially by more experienced or motivated criminals. Garage door openers (depending on what brand they are) can sometimes be opened by universal remotes, so be proactive! Disengage your garage door opener and opt for a manual lock.
10. Advertise your security.
Having a security system will most definitely deter burglars, so advertise it! Post these stickers near your most obvious and accessible entry points like your front and back door, as well as side doors off your garage. You can even buy a pack of stickers if you haven’t been able to implement your security system before your next trip.