Did you know burglars target homes where the homeowners are gone on vacation? Here’s how to prevent a home burglary while you’re gone and some safety tips.
On average, 3.7 million home burglaries occur each year. And most of these burglaries occur when people are away from their homes.
If your home is going to be vacant for days at a time, you need to take steps to secure it against burglars. This might seem intimidating or overwhelming, but there’s no need to panic.
Keep reading to learn some simple steps you can take to prevent a home burglary while you’re away on vacation.
Home Burglary Risk Factors
Anyone can experience a home burglary. But, some people are more likely than others to be targeted by burglars.
Some well-known burglary risk factors include:
- Lack of an alarm system
- Living on a corner (corner houses are more accessible and have fewer neighbors)
- Living near an alley (it provides burglars with a quick getaway route)
- Driving an expensive car
- Not having a dog
- Living alone or not having any kids
- Having a dimly lit home
- Renting instead of owning your home
- Living in a new neighborhood
- Following the same routine every day (this makes it easy for burglars to track your behavior)
If you’re leaving your home vacant for an extended period of time, especially during the holidays, you’re also more likely to experience a burglary.
How to Prevent a Home Burglary
After reading through some of these home burglary risk factors, you might be feeling a bit worried about leaving your home vacant while you go on vacation.
This is totally understandable. But, you definitely don’t have to cancel that plane ticket.
There are lots of things you can do to protect your home from burglars. Start by taking the following steps:
Invest in a Security System
One of the best things you can do to guard your home against burglars is to invest in a high-quality security system.
Double Check Your Locks
This might seem like a no-brainer. But, you’d be amazed at how many people forget to lock all their doors and windows before they leave. It’s like you’re inviting the burglars to come in and take your stuff!
Even if you’re 100 percent sure that everything is locked, take a few minutes before you leave to double check. If nothing else, it’ll give you peace of mind before you head out on your trip.
Recruit Your Neighbors
Before you leave, talk to a neighbor and let them know that you’re going on vacation and would appreciate it if they would keep an eye on your house.
Consider paying someone to mow your lawn, rake your leaves, or shovel your snow while you’re away, too. Overgrown grass or unshoveled snow is a dead giveaway to a burglar that no one is home.
You might also want to give your neighbor a spare key and ask them to bring in your mail, newspaper, or any packages that get dropped off while you’re away.
Like the snow and unmowed grass, piles of packages and mail overflowing from the mailboxes also indicate that you’re not home.
Keep Your Vacation on the Down Low
It’s tempting to announce to all your Facebook friends or Instagram followers that you’re heading out on vacation. But, consider keeping your vacation to yourself (you can always share pictures and make people jealous when you return).
Remember, announcing your departure online makes it easy for burglars to find out when you’ll be gone.
You might intend to only inform your closest friends. But, the reality is that, unless you’re very careful about your privacy settings, social media posts are public. Anyone can see them and take advantage of your situation.
Install Security Lights Outside Your Home
When you install your security system, consider installing security lights, too. Remember, a dimly lit home increases the chances of your home being burglarized.
Remove Your Spare Keys
If you keep a spare key under your doormat or in a planter by your front door, remove it. Give it to the neighbor who’s checking on your house, or simply hide it inside your house until you get back.
Most burglars know where to look around your property to find spare keys. Don’t make it easy for them to get into your house.
Put Valuables Away
If you can, try to move your valuables (TV, computer, jewelry, etc.) away from the windows while you’re gone.
If burglars can look into your home and see all the fancy, expensive items you have on display, they’re going to be more inclined to try and break into your home.
Consider Smart Lighting
If you invest in smart lighting, you can set timers so that the lights inside and outside of your house turn on every day at a specific time. Some systems are even set up so that you can control them from your phone or tablet!
Smart lighting might seem like overkill. But, with these lights, you can easily simulate a human presence in your home and trick burglars into thinking you’re there when you’re not.
Suspend Mail and Newspaper Delivery
Finally, if you don’t have anyone who can come by to pick up your mail, packages, and newspapers, consider having them suspended while you’re away.
A simple phone call is all you need to put delivery on hold until you return home from your trip.
Looking for More Home Safety Tips?
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll significantly reduce your risk of experiencing a home burglary while you’re on vacation.
Want to learn more about keeping your home safe?
If so, be sure to visit the safety and security archives on our website. You’ll find tons of great information here on everything from alarm systems to holiday home security. Check it out today!