Most home break-ins are crimes of opportunity. Burglars watch residences waiting to spot a weakness they can exploit, such as the owners going away on holiday. The good news is that there are ways of protecting your home while there’s no one living in it.
Here are 6 tips for keeping your home safe so you can relax and enjoy your holiday without worries:
1. Don’t appear to be on vacation.
Perhaps the smartest thing you can do to keep your home safe while you’re on vacation is to make it look like there are people living in the house.
If it’s summertime, hire someone to mow the lawn. An overgrown yard hints at an owner’s absence.
If it’s wintertime, hire someone to shovel any buildup of snow around your house. A driveway that hasn’t been cleared after a snowfall, and without tire tracks, is a sure indication no one is home.
Don’t let the mail pile up. Either have the post office stop delivery, or have a neighbor collect your mail every day.
There’s also the issue of interior lighting. Some homeowners leave lights on to suggest people are home, but a light that never turns off is almost as suspicious as lights never turning on. Timers can turn lights off and on at specific times, which is much less noticeable, unless the thief discovers an overly predictable pattern. Now, however, there are phone apps that allow you to turn lights on and off remotely, whenever you choose.
2. Keep the outside lit.
The lights outside your home can also make a world of difference when it comes to keeping your home safe. Thieves want to be as inconspicuous as possible, and if a target doesn’t offer a concealing environment, they may well move on. To that end, install lights to illuminate the house, particularly entryways. These can be powerful, motion-activated lights, or they can be smaller, solar-powered lights that switch on when it gets dark.
3. Don’t announce your plans on Facebook.
The rise of social media has encouraged people to share every aspect of their lives, even when they shouldn’t. Telling people when you’re going on vacation not only announces your house is vulnerable, but it even gives a specific timeline for that vulnerability.
Likewise, refrain from posting pictures and other vacation updates until you get home, as doing this makes it obvious that you’re away.
4. Strengthen the entryways.
To say you should lock your doors to keep your home safe is obvious, but the gesture is only truly effective if the lock and door are sturdy. Ideally, entryway doors should be at least one inch thick and made of metal. Hardwood is suitable if metal is unavailable. It should include a high-end deadbolt lock, which is more secure than a doorknob latch.
And don’t forget patio doors. Their locks are often flimsy and offer little protection against a determined burglar. However, placing a sturdy dowel rod in the track will keep the door from sliding open.
If you normally keep a spare key hidden outside the home, bring it in before going on vacation.
Did you know that GardaWorld experts can help you identify weak spots on your property and build up better lines of defense to keep your home safe? Contact us to learn more.
5. Store valuables in a sizeable safe in your home.
Fireproof safes provide protection against numerous catastrophes, including break-ins. They’re a great place to put jewelry and other small valuables. Keep in mind that while there are portable fireproof safes, you’ll need one large enough to deter thieves from carrying it off and attempting to crack it later. If you don’t own a safe, it’s best to keep valuables out of sight, so someone peering in through a window can’t spot them. This is a good practice at all times, as thieves might be surveying your home even when you’re not on vacation—waiting for an opportunity.
6. Invest in a security system with a control center and mobile patrol units.
Having an alarm system linked to a first-rate control center can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your home safe from criminal acts. If your home alarm is triggered, the control center will be notified automatically, and can take appropriate action, which may entail sending a mobile patrol unit to the scene. Mobile patrollers from top security companies are trained to respond quickly and effectively to emergencies. GardaWorld operates 5 control centers in Canada, and has a dedicated alarm response line so that our mobile patrols and alarm response units can protect our clients’ properties, residential or otherwise, 24/7.
Plus, our innovative GTrack technology gives our clients easy access to patrol reports (including photos and videos) from any connected device—whether they are 20 minutes or 20 hours away from their properties.
Nothing can guarantee the safety of your home or business while you’re away. However, a bit of planning and a reliable security provider can make properties a whole lot less attractive to burglars. Contact us to learn more about how GardaWorld can help you protect your assets. It is a responsibility we take seriously.