An unoccupied house is an easy target for burglars, unfortunate news for frequent travellers. Whether you’re taking off for a pleasurable holiday or travelling for business reasons, there are several tips to keep in mind that can help keep your home safe while you’re away.
Hire a House Sitter
Hiring a house sitter is probably the easiest and least expensive way to ensure your belongings and home stay safe while you’re on vacation. A trusted individual can stay in your home as if you were there, occupying your living space and making it look to outsiders as if someone is always home. This measure by itself is an excellent deterrent for burglars. They generally don’t want to steal from a home that’s occupied.
Install Timers on Lights and Electronics
The typical thing to do before most people leave for vacation or a business trip is to turn one light on that stays on for the entire week or few weeks that you’re gone. But the problem is, any burglar who’s keeping an eye on your house knows that it’s fake if they’ve been watching your house for a few days and the same light has been on.
A better solution is to set several devices or lamps to timers so they’ll come on at certain times of the day, go off at other times, and come back on again later in the day. This way it’s harder to tell from the outside if people are home or not.
Shovel Driveways/Mow the Lawn
Depending on the season, you should hire someone (maybe your house sitter) to shovel the driveway or mow the lawn. This makes it appear as if someone’s home and taking care of the yard. It keeps things looking normal, even when you’re not there.
Secure Storage for Boats/Vehicles
While you’re on a business trip or on vacation, leaving your valuable vehicles or boats out in the open is a bad idea. They’re an easy target for thieves, and you don’t want to come home to find your possessions missing. investing in a secure storage shed ensures that your boat and other vehicles stay protected and locked.
Stop the Mail
A build up of packages or an overflowing mailbox is a surefire signal to observant burglars that you’re not home to collect it. This is another reason to support hiring a house sitter. They can collect any mail and packages for you. If you choose not to hire a house sitter, at least have the post office collect your mail so your mailbox isn’t a clear giveaway that nobody’s inside. The same goes for newspaper delivery.
It seems simple, but it’s a detail that’s often overlooked. Make sure that every single possible entry way into your home is locked, including deadbolts, windows and all doors, even if they’re on the second floor. Any unlocked entrance is an easy passage for burglar access.