How To Secure Your Home While on Vacation

Most of us count down the days until our next vacation. We can’t wait to get away for a few days for a chance to relax and unwind without worrying about work or other responsibilities. That being said, there is always one concern that people have when they go on vacation: security. Being away from your home for an extended period of time leaves it vulnerable to burglaries. That is why it’s important to use top home security systems to ensure the security of your house while you’re gone. This is the only way to have peace of mind while on vacation. To that end, we have decided to talk about how to secure your home while on vacation.

Securing Your Home

According to the Bureau of Justice, home property crimes tend to increase during the summer. However, the survey also confirms that property crimes have been decreasing over the past few years. One explanation is the rising demand for home automation and security systems. There are a few things you can do to deter break-ins while you’re away from home on vacation. The best course of action is to invest in a home security system.

A key in a house's door.
You don’t need a full-fledged security system to keep your home safe.

Whereas older models require expert installation and monitoring, many newer models allow for self-installation and monitoring. However, full-scale security systems may not be necessary.  Maintaining contact with neighbors and locking up valuables and garage doors will help to secure your home while you’re away.

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Keep Your House’s Interior Secure

The easiest way to assess the state of security in your house is to start on the inside and work your way out. When you’re gone from home, take these precautions to keep the interior safe:

  • Lock up your valuables: It’s critical to invest in a safe or covert lockbox to keep your pricey jewelry and other valuables out of the hands of intruders in the case of a break-in. Additionally, you should consider a fireproof safe to keep crucial papers and valuables safe in the event of a fire in your house. If you have a lot of valuable possessions, renting out a storage unit may be the best approach.
  • Disconnect your garage door: Often, a home’s garage door can be an entrance to the house itself. If you have electronic doors, you should turn them off before leaving town. This is going to prevent burglars from breaking in via hacked signals.
  • Don’t close your curtains: It’s a common misconception that closing blinds and drapes before leaving the house provides adequate security. While this may deter would-be burglars from breaking into your home, after a while, it will serve as a sign that you are away. Therefore, before you leave the house, return your drapes and blinds to their normal position.
Four electrical outlets.
If you are going to be gone for an extended period of time, unplug all of your appliances to avoid electrical fires.

Now, burglaries are not the only security concerns you should consider when going on vacation. Electrical fires are also a possibility. However, to reduce the risk of electrical fires, all you need to do is unplug the TV, the lights, and any other gadgets that draw a lot of power. Additionally, check the functionality of any smoke alarms in the house.

Keep Your House’s Exterior Secure

To prevent vandalism, theft, and other criminal mischief while you’re away, you can secure the exterior of your home in a number of ways. As we’ve mentioned, the best and most obvious choice is to set up some sort of home security system. These systems combine a variety of security measures, such as cameras, floodlights, motion detectors, and window sensors. In this manner, security systems can ensure the safety of your home. However, alternatives are available for homeowners who don’t want a full home security system. For instance, you can replace the locks on all exterior doors with electronic versions. Smart locks are a great alternative to deadbolts since they enable you to provide guests temporary access to your home without having to physically give them a key. Intruder alarms are also a feature of certain models.

The exterior of a house showing you must secure your home while on vacation
Installing a security system is the best way to keep your home’s exterior safe, but it is not the only option.

Aside from that, you should stop mail and newspaper delivery and never leave keys under a doormat. These are fast and simple measures to safeguard the outside of your property.

Steps to Secure Your Home While on Vacation

Now that we have covered what you should do in general, it’s time to get a bit more in-depth about the measures you can take to secure your home while on vacation:

  1. Install security lighting
  2. Get network surveillance cameras
  3. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye
  4. Keep a car in the driveway
  5. Use a decoy alarm system
  6. Install a video doorbell
  7. Buy home insurance

Install Security Lighting

Most burglars are criminals of opportunity. This means that they are going to try to steal from homes that are easy to break into. That being said, the degree to which a house is “easy to break into” depends on a variety of factors, among which is exterior lighting. Thieves will often avoid homes that have floodlights or sensor lights. Therefore, you should install this type of lighting at every entrance. By this, we mean that you should install lights near every entrance and exit to your home. However, having lights on in your house is one of the most apparent clues that the property is not vacant. But if you’re going to be gone for a few days, leaving all of your lights on is not an option. It’s going to send your electricity bill through the roof, and it’s also a fire hazard.

For this reason, using smart lights inside your home is a great way to secure your home while on vacation. You can set these lights to turn on and off at the time that you specify. Using a light timer is a fantastic and inexpensive method to boost your home’s security while you’re away on vacation. You can program these lights to turn on and off at the same times as if you were there. It’s a good idea to place a few on each floor of your house. This will make it seem like there are always people in and using every room.

Protect Your Home With a Network of Surveillance Cameras

Security lighting is even more effective if you combine it with other measures, such as cameras for monitoring. Most surveillance systems today come with security applications that you can have on your phone. This allows you to monitor your home from a hotel room hundreds of miles away. Moreover, alarm systems are a standard feature of these setups. When an alarm goes off, you may immediately contact the authorities and put a stop to the situation.

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However, in most cases, simply having a camera system in your home is enough to deter any burglar. That being said, there are two things you need to consider when installing a camera system for your home.

  • The IP rating:  The IP rating specifies the extremes of temperature and humidity that a camera may operate in. You can’t afford to have your video stream cut off due to a sudden downpour. If you are planning to place cameras outside, make sure that it has a minimum rating of 65. Cameras with this rating are waterproof and dustproof and can even survive a water jet from a nozzle. However, cameras with ratings as high as 68 are commercially available for those who want extra peace of mind.
  • Camera placement:  You need to make sure your surveillance system covers all of the entrances to your home. For the best results, place your outdoor security cameras 8 to 10 feet off the ground. Some people make the mistake of placing hidden cameras outside their homes. However, we do not recommend this because hidden cameras sacrifice image quality and field of vision for concealment.
A woman opens a surveillance app on her phone.
These days, you can monitor your CCTV video feed on your phone, which makes it a great way to secure your home while on vacation.

Get the Neighbor To Keep an Eye on Your House

If you’ll be gone for more than a day or two, it’s a good idea to have a reliable friend or neighbor stop by the house a few times to make sure everything is okay. This will make you feel more at ease knowing that your home is safe. Arrange to see this person before you depart on your vacation so you can personally give them the key. A key hidden beneath a rug or a rock is useless because any thief worth his salt can discover it and use it to get into your house.

That said, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of stopping your mail, you should ask your friend or neighbor to collect it for you. Thieves may easily tell that no one is home if the mailbox is full or a package is left unattended. Keep the number of people who know you’re leaving to a minimum. If you want to secure your home while on vacation, only tell the person you’ve chosen to look after your house while you’re gone.

Keep a Car in the Driveway

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on expensive security systems, you also opt to leave your car in the driveway while you’re gone. This may sound risky, but it really isn’t. Most thieves avoid homes with cars in the driveways because they believe someone is home. If you don’t need your vehicle to travel to your vacation spot, keeping it parked in the driveway is a terrific way to provide an extra layer of security to your property. Having a vehicle in the driveway is simply one more technique to make it seem as if someone is at home when in fact, no one is there.

A parked car in the driveway as a way to secure your home while on vacation
An automobile parked in a driveway can be an effective deterrent against burglars.

The most obvious potential snag is that you might want to drive to your destination. In such a case, it’s a good idea to see if any of your neighbors or friends in the area would mind parking their vehicles in your driveway for the duration of your absence.

Use a Decoy Alarm System

Though reliable, security systems may be prohibitively costly. However, you could avoid the cost of a security system altogether by merely creating the impression that one exists. By putting up fake security signs, stickers, and even replica cameras in plain sight, you’ll be able to secure your home while on vacation. Intruders are less likely to attempt a break-in if they can see that a security system is in place. While we don’t advise relying only on a decoy security system to keep your house safe, if you also take the other precautions we’ve outlined, you shouldn’t have to worry about someone breaking in while you’re gone. If anything, this should serve to offer you the peace of mind that you need in order to enjoy your trip and know that your property will be suitably safe and secure till you come back.

Set up a Video Doorbell

A video doorbell lets you check in with visitors without physically being at home. When the doorbell rings, you’ll receive a notification on your phone and be able to talk to whoever is there instantly. You may still view a log of video clips even if you don’t have phone coverage when you’re at the beach or trekking through the bush. There are many different models and brands that you can use, and most of them will serve you well.

A person pressing a doorbell with a camera, one way to secure your home while on vacation
Doorbell cameras will notify you whenever someone uses them.

Buy Home Insurance

One of the best ways to protect your home from unwanted risks is to have home insurance. A home insurance policy will protect you against things like theft, housebreaking, and fire. On the internet, you can find a plethora of different home insurance companies that provide comprehensive insurance coverage. That being said, you must select the best home insurance for you. Therefore, you should compare different policies on the basis of coverage, premium amount, terms and conditions, and so on.

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Now that you know how to secure your home while on vacation, you can relax and enjoy your time away from home. With the tips Consumer Opinion Guide has provided above, you can keep your home safe from intruders and other hazards while you relax at the beach or go on a wilderness adventure. That being said, it is not necessary to do everything we have suggested. Following only a few of our suggestions will protect you against most types of burglary or other crimes that may occur in your home while you are away.

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