After a year of being at home, many are looking forward to taking time off this summer and finally traveling and going on vacation. Unfortunately, families aren't the only ones looking forward to vacations. Burglars are ready to take advantage of unlocked doors, open windows, and homes without security systems. Home burglaries are crimes of opportunity and can be completely preventable by ensuring there are no vulnerabilities in your property and plenty of deterrents. Unlike what we see on TV shows, burglars will not go to extreme lengths to break into your home, which is why having even just one type of deterrent can make a big difference in your home safety.
Give yourself plenty of time to make any necessary changes to your home security before your trip. Then, one to two weeks before you leave on vacation, do a thorough inspection of your home and pay attention to the following.
Points of Entry
- Burglars target easy points of entry like your front door, back door, and windows. Make sure to lock all of these and use a deadbolt or install one if needed.
- Switch out the screws on the lock of your front and back door and use those 3 to 4 inches long, making it harder for someone trying to break in.
- Place a dowel into the track of a sliding glass door or window. Even if someone bypasses your locks, the door or window won't open.
- Use alarm sensors on your doors and windows to alert neighbors of a break-in.
Access to Valuables
- Put away expensive items in a hidden safe or lockbox. Never leave them out in the open.
- In addition to jewelry, lock up any documents with personal or financial information, including your social security cards, bank statements, birth certificates, etc.
- Consider using a TV wall mount to make it harder for someone to take it.
Alarms and Monitoring
- Consider installing a home security system to monitor all areas of your home.
- Most burglaries occur during the daytime between 10 am and 3 pm, when homes are most likely to be empty. Check-in with your neighbors and work together to monitor and report any suspicious activity.
- Even if you don't have one, add a security system sign on your front lawn or stickers on your windows.
- Install motion-sensor lights and cameras in areas near entry points where they are visible. Include at least one motion sensor inside your home that can alert you if someone's broken in.
- Consider using reflective window films to prevent people from monitoring and scoping out the inside of your home.
- Place a hold on your mail and deliveries while you're away to avoid them piling up on your front door.
When you have enough safety systems in place, you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest, knowing your home and belongings are safe.
Visit our keeping families safe page for more ways to safeguard your home.