Before planning to head out for your hard-earned vacation, spend some time in thinking about home security while you’re away. According to the records, holidays and summertime are the peak times for house burglaries.
Here are some tactical tips that can help prevent your home becoming an easy target during your vacation when you’re away:
Light up at night.
Lighting within a house is the best way to communicate to the world that someone’s inside. You can use manual timers for turning the indoor lights of your home on and off in the evenings. If you wish, you could also try using remote devices that allow flicking of switches via your smartphone or tablet.
Avoid broadcasting your absence.
It’s important not to make your house look as if nobody’s home. A bunch of uncollected newspapers and a stuffed mailbox is a sure sign that the homeowners are away. Request a trusted neighbor to routinely collect your newspaper and mail each day. Much as you might want to, refrain from updating your social media status to show that you’re out of town. Posting a message like “Visiting the family at Jersey” definitely lets the world know you’re away.
Reinforce your doors.
If your house has wood door jambs, you need to be extra careful. The lock strike plates are the weakest points in your doors. It would be great if you could upgrade to heavy-duty strike plates. Make sure you use four solid 3-inch screws to secure each of them to the doorframes.
Check out your windows.
You need to consider a secondary line of defense for windows on the ground-floor. According to statistics, 23% of break-ins occur through this avenue. Inserting sash pins for secure double-hung styles is a good idea. Also consider setting up a wireless alarm system for your windows.
Consider getting a sitter.
You could think of recruiting a neighbor, trusted college student or friend to stay at your home while you’re holidaying. Your home doesn’t stay vacant then and this house-sitter can prove useful in other ways such as looking after your plants and pets.
Make use of security devices.
Making use of some well-placed security devices and locks will hold you in good stead:
Front Door: Since maximum break-ins occur from here, investing in a solid deadbolt lock that’s pick-resistant makes good sense.
First-Floor Windows: Sash locks are good, but windows that are easy-to-reach require double protection. Installing a wireless alarm system that sounds off when a window is opened is enough to frighten potential intruders.
Side Entry: If there are sliding glass doors, installation of a tough metal jammer that can fold up when not used is ideal to prevent doors from being removed off their tracks.
Garage: Installation of an indoor lock that’s side-mounted may be slightly inconvenient, but you get additional security when a burglar manages to bypass an electronic door opener.
Basement: Placing security lights that are motion-activated near entrances and grade-level windows are great because prowlers get nowhere to hide.
Make a call.
In some communities, there are vacation security programs in place which are coordinated by crime prevention units of local police departments. Before leaving for your vacation, you can call the department and inform them about your plans and period you’ll be away. Then a schedule is set up for police officers or volunteers to patrol your lane and periodically check on your house.
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