Summers are prime time for family getaways… and home robberies. Anytime houses are likely to be empty, crooks are licking their chops. That’s why it’s important to follow some basic home security guidelines when taking a summer vacation.
Stage the Home
Just because you’re not home doesn’t mean it should look like you’re not home. There are a few tricks you can use to make it look like you never left the front step, even if you’re hundreds of miles away.
- Get someone to mow your lawn so it doesn’t get overgrown and tip off the bad guys that no one is home.
- Set lights on a timer to come on at night
- Leave a hose uncoiled to make it look like yard work is happening
Pause the Mail
An overflowing mailbox is one of the most obvious signs of an empty nest. Before you skip town, stop by the post office to stop your mail until you get home. It only takes a few minutes, so you can even do it as you’re leaving town.
Show Off Your Security
If you have an alarm system, make sure the yard sign is displayed loud and proud. This is one of the best signals to burglars that this house isn’t one they want to mess with. You can also get some dummy security cameras if you want to really step up your security appearance.
Hide the Hidden Key
Most homeowners keep a spare key hidden in the mailbox or under a flowerpot. This is a great failsafe if you get locked out of the house, but that’s not too likely to happen while you’re away. Wherever your secret key may be hidden, go ahead and bring it inside the house where it can’t be used against you.
Call a Friend
Speaking of spare keys, it’s not a bad idea to give one to a friend you trust so they can get into your house in case of an emergency. You might also ask them to swing by the house a few times to keep an eye on the place.