Insurance and Finance

Keep Burglars at Bay While You’re on Vacation – Home Safety Tips

By Laura Byrom 5.14.14

Your bags are packed, and you’re ready to hit the road — but don’t let the anticipation of a much-needed vacation keep you from securing your home properly. The best way to protect your home from burglars while you’re away is by making it appear occupied. Try these home safety tips:

Leave a light (or two) on inside.

It may seem obvious, but a little bit of strategic lighting can be just enough to discourage potential intruders from breaking in. Consider investing in timers that will automatically switch lights on and off at designated times.

Use exterior motion-sensor lights.

Motion-sensor lights are incredibly effective at warding off nighttime prowlers. They are inexpensive, can be purchased at most home-improvement stores, and are generally pretty easy to install.

Try a TV simulator.

It’s a small electronic device that mimics the lighting effects of a real television, including scene changes, color shifts, and on-screen motion. Don’t worry about the impact on your electricity bill; it only uses about the same amount of energy as a night light.

Keep your blinds open.

Many homeowners close their blinds to discourage passersby from peeking through their windows and taking inventory of valuables. Unfortunately, closed blinds may also indicate that no one is home.

Put deliveries on hold.

Contact your local post office — as well as your newspaper carrier — and place a vacation hold on all deliveries. Newspapers strewn across the lawn and an overflowing mailbox are sure signs of a vacant house.

Park a car out front.

Ask a neighbor to park his or her car in your driveway periodically. If it appears that someone is coming and going, burglars are much less likely to target your home.

Don’t broadcast your vacation plans.

Although it may be tempting, don’t announce your vacation plans on social media. Some thieves will troll sites like Facebook and Twitter to search for possible burglary victims.

Once you prepare your home for vacation, read about how to stop a smash-and-grab.