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I spend a lot of time with folks, helping them find the perfect home and property that suits their needs, so I can say without a doubt that you value your home and the memories and possessions you keep there. When it’s time to step away from the everyday comforts and into an adventure of vacationing, you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’ve done all you could to protect your home while you are away. Today, I’d like to share a few tips on preparing house for extended vacation to help ensure the safety and security of your home when you go away on vacation. Employ these tips so you can enjoy your time on vacation.
According to FBI statistics, residential burglaries spike around 10% in the months of July and August, prime vacationing months for most Americans. Security and safety are of the utmost importance in planning and sharing details about your trips because thieves are hunting for easy targets. There are some elements of your home that you cannot change, such as being set far back from roadways or isolated from close neighbors. Those features are a huge plus in day-to-day living, but can also serve as flags for break-ins. All that means is that you must first do an analysis of your home’s location and features, and determine what the best ways are to minimize the chances of a break-in. Keep in mind that most thieves are not professionals, so a few small steps can go a long way in taking you off their radar.
10 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Away
Below are ten home security tips while on vacation to give you peace of mind.
- Use home automation systems to allow your lighting to switch on and off at normal hours, giving the illusion that you are home.
- Consider finding a college or high school student to live in your home while you are on vacation, especially if you are traveling for an extended period of time. Regardless of whether you have pets, the movement of vehicles and other items will give the property a ‘lived in’ look.
- Put in an official hold order for your mail, newspapers, packages and other items that may cue thieves you are out of town. Consider starting those holds a day before you leave to ensure that there are no glitches.
- Have someone cut your grass if you are gone longer than ten days and make sure garbage and recycle containers are stowed away neatly.
- Test your smoke detector to make sure it is in working order.
- Tell a trusted neighbor about your travel plans, including dates of departure and return. Ask them to keep an eye out for unusual vehicles or activity.
- Lock all doors and windows (don’t forget upstairs windows). It sounds simple, but almost 30% of “unlawful entry” cases are made through unlocked doors and windows.
- Consider an alarm system. There are home security systems to fit just about any budget, just make sure you clearly indicate you have a system somehow through signs or stickers on the exterior of your home as those cues are what scare criminals.
- Wait to share vacation stories and images until AFTER you’ve returned. This includes turning off geolocation tagging on social media (the features that post your location along with your comments).
- Remember to lock any vehicles that are left behind and to leave spare keys with a trusted friend in case there is a need for entry to your cars or home while you are away. It could be something as simple as you forgot to take out the trash bags on your way out or something as unexpected as a need to access your home to assess storm damage.
The video below has some added tips we recommend you implementing to ensure maximum security.
Practice Home Security So You Enjoy Vacation
These are just a few of the ways you can practice safe home security when on vacation. And taking steps like these will help give you peace of mind as you drive away, allowing you to get the break you need and truly enjoy your time away. I hope that you can go on wonderful vacations this season and can’t wait to hear your stories and share my real estate expertise on why coming back home to North Carolina will always be the best choice.
What other home security tips do you have for those leaving for vacation?
This guest post was written by Ellen Dudley, a REALTOR in Winston-Salem, NC. We hope you enjoyed her list of home safety tips!