Are you guys ready for summer? Wednesday is the last school day for our kids. Our children will probably drive us crazy at times, but the summer is a good time to just hang out with the kids. The weather is nice and it’s so relaxing when you don’t have to deal with the hectic school schedule. We also have a few road trips plan for this summer. We told our children about the trips. Right off the bat, my kids said they’re going to tell their friends about the trips. No! Please don’t tell your friends until after we’re returned. When you go on vacation, the last thing you want to do is broadcast it to everyone. I don’t think my kids’ friends with break in, but unscrupulous people might over hear the dates we’re going to be out of town. This is actually the topic of today’s post: tips for securing your home when you go on vacation.
Nine Tips for Securing Your Home
Share the details of your travel plans on a need to know basis
The more people you tell, the higher the probability someone will break into your home while you are gone. As I mentioned previously, unscrupulous people might overhear you when you tell other people you’re going out of town. Or your friends might mention your vacation plan to other people.
Don’t post your vacation plans on Facebook, Twitter, blog, and other websites
This should be a no brainer, but people have shared their vacation plans on Facebook and in some cases, these people had their home broken into while they were gone. You really should wait until after you have returned before posting on social media sites.
Use a timer to automatically turn on your lights
I actually use multiple timers. I have a timer that is hard-wired to the wall switch for the outdoor lights. I think I purchase that timer at Home Depot. I also use multiple timers that plug into a wall outlet to control individual lamps inside the house. These plug-in switches can found at most department stores.
Put a hold on your newspaper subscription
This is one of the things many people forget to do when they go on vacation. For a thief, a pile of unread newspapers on the driveway is practically an invitation to break into the house.
Have a friend drop by your house while you are gone
If you’re going to be gone for more than a couple of days, you should have a friend, relative or neighbor check on your house while you are gone. Better yet, have someone you trust live in your house while you are gone. Don’t forget to give them a mail key so the mail doesn’t pile up.
Dead-bolt your doors
This should be obvious, but you need to lock all doors and windows before you leave. Ideally, you should have deadbolts. Regular locks are easy to pick (someone once told me she used a credit card to open a door when her house keys were locked inside the house). If you have a sliding patio door, I would also suggest something like a Master Lock door security bar to prevent a forced entry.
Don’t announce your vacation plan on your answering machine
If you’re like me, then you get a lot of calls from telemarketers. I’m on the national “do not call” list, but many telemarketers don’t care. And if they don’t care about breaking the law, what’s stopping them from telling other people you’re out of town. Keep in mind telemarketers probably have your address in addition to your phone number.
Don’t bring out your trash can too early
If you’re leaving several days before your regular trash day, don’t take out the garbage can to the curb before you leave. I noticed a lot of people in our neighborhood do this, but it’s a bad idea and tells people you’re not home. You’re better off asking a friend or neighbor to bring out your trash can on the normal day you take it out to the curb.
Park a car in the driveway
Assuming you don’t have a really expensive car or live in a bad neighborhood, you should park a car in your driveway. A car parked in the driveway gives the illusion someone is home and makes it a harder for a thief to determine if you’re out of town.
[Disclosure: I’m writing a series of Live Secure Safety Squad articles for Master Lock as part of a special dad blogger program. However, I will not be compensated for writing the posts.]