5 Ways You Can Deter Burglars While Away on Vacation

Dated: 07/02/2018

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Summer is supposed to be a fun time of year and it usually is for most families. But, do you know what is not fun? Coming home from an amazing vacation to find that your home was burglarized while you were away!

Summer is the prime time of year for home invasions and burglaries. One reason for the increase in summer crime is the abundance of empty homes thanks to summer vacations. But, if you take some steps to protect your home, you can avoid coming home to an unfortunate situation.

Here are five ways to protect your home while you’re off enjoying your summer vacation:

1. Install an Alarm System
The most obvious way to protect your home from potential burglars is by installing an alarm system. Sometimes just the threat of an alarm system—like a sign in your yard or a sticker on a window can be enough to deter potential burglars.

Alarm systems are more affordable than ever to the average homeowner and some insurance companies will even give you a discount on your home owners insurance for having a security system. In addition to the standard alarm systems that need to be installed professionally and require a monthly contract, there are do-it-yourself options available now that work in conjunction with your smart phone and are easy to install.

Be sure to do your homework before choosing an alarm system. Get estimates and testimonials from local alarm companies and research some of the newer do-it-yourself systems online.

2. Have Your Lawn Mowed
If you’re going to be traveling for more than a week or two, make sure you hire someone to mow the lawn. An overgrown lawn is a pretty good indicator that no one is home and can attract unwanted attention. Plus, you won’t have to worry about coming home to a nightmare of a yard to deal with after your relaxing vacation!

If you hire someone you know and trust to mow the lawn, you might also ask the person to do a quick walk-through of your house to make sure everything is OK. If you have an issue inside the home while you’re gone, the person can bring it to your attention before it gets out of hand.

3. Don’t Forget About Newspapers and The Mail
Before you leave for your vacation, put a hold on your mail with the USPS. An overflowing mailbox is a sure sign that your family is away. And on top of that, an overflowing mailbox increases the chance that something might fall out and get lost.

Don’t forget to stop delivery of your newspaper as well or ask a neighbor to grab your paper while you are away. Also, it’s a good idea to let your neighbor know you will be out of town and give them your contact information in case of an emergency.

4. Set Timers and Install Outdoor Motion Lights
Nothing says “empty house” like a home that stays completely dark for days. Setting timers on your electronics, including lights and televisions, can give the illusion that people are occupying the home even when you are miles away enjoying your vacation.

You can pick up inexpensive timers at any hardware store or online, plug them into your electronics, and program them to turn on and off at specified times. It is best to have them come on in different parts of the house at different times. It might be obvious if lights all over the house came on at once.

Don’t forget outdoor lighting, sometimes a sudden burst of light from a motion-activated flood light can scare off burglars. These work great near back doors, garages and barns.

5. Don’t Tell the World You Aren’t Home – Be Cautious on Social Media
I know it’s fun to share photos and status updates while on vacation—I do it myself. But it’s important for everyone in your family to be cautious on social media. Make sure all of your social media accounts are set to “private” before sharing with the wrong people that your house is sitting empty while you are out having fun.

You deserve a vacation—make it a great one! Just make sure you to follow these simple tips to protect your home while you’re off making great memories.

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Lana Eckel-Rife

Buying or selling a home is more than just a transaction: it’s a life-changing experience. That’s why I’m dedicated to providing clients with exceptional, personalized service. I take great prid....

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