Your long awaited vacation is here. Everything is perfect- the delightful drink, the beach, the sound of the waves. You’re one step away from your happy place when you panic at the thought of leaving behind an open window back home. This is a common experience that doesn’t spare even the most cautious of us. Before leaving for our vacation, we tend to be more concerned about having what we require for the trip ahead rather than securing our houses. The thought may not strike us until we actually begin vacationing. Here’s a checklist of eight items that you might want to run through before heading out for a long vacation so that you don’t come home to a burgled house.
1. Keep Your Neighbors And Close Social Circle Updated On Your Travel Plans
Don’t leave on vacation without informing your neighbors and members of your close social circle. If your neighborhood has been burgled before, then it is especially important to ask your next door neighbors to keep an eye on the house whenever they can. Also make sure they have your contact details to call you in case of an emergency. A signal indicating an empty house that burglars look out for is an unkempt lawn and an avalanche of mail. Ask one of your friends or family to come by every now and then to collect the mail and mow the lawn. You can also arrange with the post office to hold your mail while you are away.
2. Keep A Home Inventory Database
If you’ve been living in the same house for a long time, you may have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. Some expensive, some sentimental and perhaps a lot of junk. A great process that could help in the long run is to make an inventory of the important items that lie in your home. Otherwise, it might difficult to identify what exactly is missing in the event of a burglary. It may also help to take pictures of the items for an added visual record.
3. Your Hiding Spots Aren’t As “Secret” As You Think They Are
Be it under the doormat, inside the flowerpot or whatever hiding spot you think is great, it’s likely that the burglars will find it. Ensure that you don’t leave around any spare keys. Instead, hand them over to your trusted neighbors, friends or family.
4. Making The House Seem Like It’s Inhabited
There are many really cool ways you can make it seem like your house is being lived in without actually being there. For starters, you can use a scheduled light system that may turn on porch lights at dusk and then turn them off before nightfall. There are even complete home automation tools that can imitate your lighting behavior and replicate it so that it isn’t as predictable as it would be if the lights went on and off at the exact same time. There are also appliances called Fake TVs that can imitate a regular TV by flickering light without consuming that much energy. This device makes the potential burglar feel hesitant to break in.
5. Motion Sensitive Lights
Burglars might be caught off guard by motion sensitive lights on your backyard or lawn. But it is important to note that this alone may not stop the burglary entirely. Experienced burglars might not be deterred by them.
6. Alarm Systems
Many people have fancy alarm systems in place but forget to set it before they leave on vacation. To top it off, if you happen to have glass doors, visible access will serve as an open invitation to the burglar. Make sure to place a sign that says the house is alarmed so as to deter the intruders.
7. Bolt Down Safes
Safes are a great means for protecting your valuables. This is especially true because burglars don’t want to waste time trying to unlock it. They would prefer much rather to take things that are more accessible. An important factor to note is that if your safe is small, be sure to bolt it down. If it is small enough to carry away, the fact that it is locked won’t really matter.
8. Social Media Posting
You may want to save your mandatory holiday posting for when you’re back from your trip. Burglars can be more resourceful than you think. Posting pictures of your air tickets for example, may have information that is best not made public.