Most people look forward to a good vacation. They spend their time in the weeks and days leading up to their trip fantasizing about the fun they’re going to have and going over their packing list again and again to make sure nothing is left behind.
Unfortunately, sometimes in all of this excitement and planning something gets forgotten, something important that has the potential to ruin your otherwise perfect vacation: preparing your home for your extended absence.
The most important factor in avoiding becoming the victim of an opportunistic burglar is making your home appear lived in. A home that looks dark, lonely, and forgotten about is a clear invitation to burglars, whereas one that looks lived in, warm, and full of activity is likely to make them think twice.
Most burglars will focus on easy targets, as the longer it takes and the harder it is to gain access to your home, the higher the chance that they will be caught. However if there is clearly nobody home for days at a time, a burglar may begin to consider it an easy mark.
Luckily, with a bit of foresight and planning, it is possible to make your home an unattractive target.
Best Solution: House/Pet Sitter
Security experts agree that they best way to make your house appear lived in is to make it true: Invite a friend or relative that you trust completely to live in your home and take care of day-to-day upkeep while you are away.
This way there will be someone there to accept deliveries, bring in the mail, water your plants, and even walk your dog! And because there is someone there every day and the home will be projecting a continued sense of daily activities, burglars will be discouraged from trying to enter the property and will move on to the next target.
If you cannot have someone live in your house for the duration of your trip, here are some helpful tips to make your home less tempting:
- Hold your mail: A collection of mail building up in your mailbox is a clear indication that nobody is home. Ask your local post office to hold all of your mail during your trip in order to prevent this.
- Stop your newspaper delivery: Even more obvious than a pile of mail, a stack of yellowing newspapers on the front porch is a definite invitation to opportunistic burglars.
- Ask someone to check in each day: Because you can’t anticipate everything it is a good idea to have a trusted friend check your home each day.
- Use light timers to maintain the illusion: Hooking up your lights to timed switches is a great way to maintain the façade that you are home during a short vacation.
Additional Tips for Home Safety
- Before leaving on your trip, ensure all doors and windows are firmly closed and locked.
- Do not talk loudly about your travel plans in public or on social media, you never know who may be listening.
- Unplug all your electronics before leaving. Not only will this protect them against surges but it can also save you money.