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How to Keep Your Home Safe While on Vacation

Portrait of a happy young woman controlling home with a digital touch screen panel installed on the wall in the living room

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With travel season upon us, homeowners may be concerned about how to keep their homes safe while on vacation. If you find yourself concerned about the security of your home while you are out of town, keep reading for some of our tips to protect your home, and your peace of mind, so you can truly relax on your trip.

1. Don’t leave your key under the mat

If you have people coming by to water plants, feed the cat, or bring the mail inside, don’t leave your house key under the welcome mat. The same goes for “clever” contraptions that are meant to look like garden ornaments but have secret key compartments. These are obvious to anyone looking for an easy break-in.

Instead, find a way to meet up in person with whoever needs the key before your trip. If this is absolutely impossible, consider asking a neighbor to hold on to the key so your friend can stop by for it or giving your friend the garage code if you have one. Other ideas, recommended by home security experts, include:

  • Buying a lockbox designed for this purpose
  • Under a loose brick in the walkway
  • In the barbecue, if they can access it
  • In a birdhouse

2. Invest in motion-sensing lights

“Install motion sensing lights, either along your pathway or in your home’s exterior lighting. Most burglaries take place after dark, so by installing motion-sensing lights you will likely scare off a majority of intruders. – Tip by Calgary Real Estate Experts Greg Kennedy

 Woman controls home video surveillance with a smartphone indoors, view from the above and ip camera on the foreground. Concept of a wireless home security systems

3. Install a home security system

This may seem too obvious, but if you truly want peace of mind while you are gone, it makes sense to invest in a home security system. There are a variety of options and levels of technology on the market to keep your home secure, so that you can decide what fits your budget and your needs. A security system might include:

  • Video doorbells
  • Alarm systems that make sound when someone enters the house
  • Self-monitored systems
  • Systems with 24/7 monitoring by an outside company to

Of a combination of any of these! Shop around and see if a local provider in your area might fit your needs.

4. Make it look like you are home

One of your goals when leaving town should be to make it look like you are still home. Avoid dead giveaways that you are out of town, like a car being parked in the same spot on your driveway or curb day after day, mail piling up and spilling out, newspapers collecting on the driveway, or a lawn getting out of control.

Depending on how long you will be gone, your home might start to look vacant, especially with an overgrown yard. Hire a lawn care service to address the yard if needed. Other ways to make the home appear occupied include:

  • Putting interior lights on timers
  • Having a friend or neighbor collect mail, packages, and newspapers
  • Park your car in the driveway and ask a neighbor to move it once or twice during your trip

5. Avoid social media posts during the vacation

One study found that 78% of burglars today use social media to identify targets by discovering who is out of town. Avoid sending out an alert that you won’t be home to call the police by waiting to share about your trip until after you are home.

Even if your social media accounts are private, there are plenty of ways for savvy criminals to work around that. Better safe than sorry; share all about your trip when you are back in the comfort of your home, safe and sound.