Nowadays, the “work-life balance” is getting increasingly skewed towards work, so to avoid burnout, we all need a good, long vacation every once in a while.
However, being away from your home for extended periods can leave you worried about your property’s safety. Nobody wants to return and find their house robbed, vandalised or flooded.
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To avoid issues like these and actually manage to relax, you have to prepare before you set off properly.
Here’s how to effectively secure your home!
Be careful of what you share on social media
Your Instagram and Facebook are probably full of friends taking selfies in exotic destinations, so why shouldn’t you join in on the fun and flex a bit? But in doing so, you’re giving potential criminals clear information that your house is vacant, and they’re free to burglarise it.
This doesn’t mean you can’t share your wonderful excursion to Fiji with the rest of the world, but we highly recommend that you refrain from doing so until you’ve returned from the trip.
This way, the information that burglars can learn from your posts has little to no value, as you’re already back in your home.
Secure the inside of your home
Now onto preparing the house itself! You should start securing from the inside out, including doors, locks, lights, valuables, etc.
Keep the lights on
If your home stays dark for days, that will signal to potential intruders that it is currently uninhabited. This is the thing that burglars look for most frequently when staking out different properties to attack.
But keeping your lights on all the time will not only look fake, but it will also rack up a significant energy bill. So, invest in automatic timers, which will turn your lights on and off at specific (or even better, random) times of the day.
Keep valuables away
We all have valuable items, whether expensive tech, precious jewellery, or even documents, in our homes. Such valuables are the first and foremost things a thief will look for after breaking into your home.
Move your precious items out of view and preferably in a secure location. Consider investing in a safe for this purpose and placing it into a wall or installing it on the floor, so it can’t get lifted and carried away easily.
Your curtain position is important
It might be tempting to draw the curtains and shut the blinds, as it will stop nosy individuals from peering inside while you’re gone. But in doing so, you will show any observant passerby that you’re not home.
A house with curtains that are never drawn either means that a vampire has moved in or, the more logical assumption – the owner is away.
To avoid this, you should keep your curtains and blinds in the same position you always do. This way, your home won’t draw any unnecessary attention, no pun intended.
Reinforce your front door
As unbelievable as it may sound, 74% of burglars gain access to your property through the front door.
So if you don’t want to become another number in this statistic, you need to up the security of your front, back, and side doors.
Invest in a door at least 2-3 cm thick and made of wood, metal, or both. A sturdy door with strong hinges and secure locks will turn away all but the most determined crooks.
If you need to replace doors and/or locks, it’s best to seek the aid of a certified professional locksmith to ensure everything will be installed correctly.
Secure the outside of your home
If everything inside seems to be in order, it’s time to look at how you’re going to secure the exterior of your property.
Lock up everything
This step might seem painfully obvious, but you can always forget to lock something. Before you set off, thoroughly check whether every window and door is locked. Even one unlocked window invites a thief to climb in and steal all your precious possessions.
If you have a garage, secure the door before you leave. Whether your garage door is opened manually or with a remote, it can quickly and easily be forced open by any thief who knows how to.
Ensure that the door is locked from the inside and block the rails so there is no possible way to open it from the outside.
If you have valuables and you don’t feel comfortable with the current level of security in your home, try moving them to a storage unit while you’re away.
Don’t keep spare keys around
A surprising amount of people keep spare keys lying around outside their homes.
Whether it’s under a doormat, in a plant pot, under a fake rock, or in some other spot you think is ingenious, any patient criminal can spend some time searching and will end up finding your key.
If you don’t want to let burglars waltz into your home with your very own key (which will invalidate your insurance), remove any spares and give them to people you trust instead.
Keep a car out front
A driveway sitting empty for a long time will give away your absence.
Ask one of your neighbours to park their car in your driveway while you’re gone, which will help give the illusion that the home is currently occupied.
Keeping the driveway clean from leaves or snow will make it seem like there’s someone in the house.
Invest in a security camera
Security cameras are one of the best-proven ways for burglary prevention. Most thieves will give up attempting to gain access to a property that’s clearly under surveillance. Even if the cameras are merely props, the burglar won’t know that!
If you do decide to install actual, working cameras, you have plenty of options to select from nowadays.
WiFi security cameras are known to be the easiest to install while offering immense functionality. Such cameras can allow you to watch your property from any place in the world, as long as you have internet access.
Get someone to watch your house
Possibly the best option out of all is to get someone to watch your home while you’re on vacation.
Ask a trusted family member, a close friend or a neighbour to help you. Give them spare keys, so they can occasionally check whether everything is alright.
If you’re still anxious, you can ask someone to stay at your house and keep an eye on things. This way, you will greatly reduce the chance of robberies, water damage, fires, and any other nasty surprises.
With our modern way of life, we all need a good vacation. You can’t keep grinding and hustling forever – you’ll eventually end up burnt out.
However, now that you’ve read our article, you know how to properly prepare before you set off, so you can calmly sip on your Margherita because you will know there’s nothing to worry about.