7 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe While You’re Away

Close-up of a security camera with a suburban street lined with houses in the background.

Traveling and exploring new places is an exciting way to spend your time. However, preparing your home for your absence can be a cause of stress for many people. While you are off exploring parts unknown, will your home be safe? What can you do to prevent burglary while you are gone?

According to Forbes, 1 million break-ins happen every year in the United States. A home invasion can impact your life in a variety of ways, from hurting your emotional health and your sense of safety to costing you financially.

However, with the proper precautions, you can increase your home’s safety while you are off on your dream vacation.

From double-checking your windows to repairing your garage door to investing in video surveillance, here are some of the ways you can keep your home safe while you are away.

1) Double Check All Doors and Windows

Before you head to the airport, walk around your home, and double-check all doors and windows. Every access point to your house should be locked when you aren’t at home. This precaution will act as a deterrent for anyone who tries to sneak into your home.

While it might seem unnecessary, make sure that you also lock your windows on the second and third floors if you have them. While higher-up windows may be harder to access, they will be targeted by potential thieves because they are often forgotten and left unlatched.

2) Set Timers for Interior and Exterior Lights

One of the best ways to keep your home safe in your absence is to create the illusion that someone is home. You can do this by setting timers for your interior and exterior lights. They will be turned on and off automatically at different times of day and night, creating the visual effect of someone being home.

If someone is considering breaking into your home, but they see that the lights come on and off, they might think you aren’t away and reconsider breaking in. In fact, according to a report by NPR, light timers can help to actively deter burglars from attempting to break into your home!

It is important to note that simply keeping the lights on the entire time you are away might act as a beacon for potential burglars. Using a timer is a great way to create the illusion that someone is living in the home.

3) Stop Your Mail

Nothing tells people that you aren’t home quite like a giant pile of mail on your front step. If you are going to be away for more than a day or two, you should consider either asking the postal service to hold mail delivery or asking a neighbor to collect your mail for you while you are away.

If you want to hold mail delivery, you can do so for up to 30 days by speaking with the postal service and informing them of the days that you will be away from your home. This option is particularly helpful if you are taking an extended trip.

If you have a specific package coming to the house while you are away that is being delivered by another mail carrier, consider talking to a neighbor about picking up the package so it doesn’t get stolen from your front step before you can get home and bring it inside.

4) Tell Your Security Provider About Your Trip

If you already have an automated security system at your home, you might want to tell your security provider that you will be going out of town. You can also tell your neighbors and family members that you will be away.

By telling the people around you, you will increase the number of eyes on your home, and the number of people who might notice if something out of the ordinary is occurring. Initiating communication with your security provider can help to prevent misunderstandings and security problems during your vacation.

5) Secure Your Garage Door

Burglars are always looking for creative and unexpected ways to break into homes. If you are planning on traveling and leaving your home, make sure you secure your garage door before you leave. The first thing you should do is to repair any damage or malfunctions your garage door may currently have.

You may also want to replace any faulty parts or accessories. Finally, installing an automatic lock for your garage door is an effective safety precaution that can keep your home protected while you are away. It can keep your home safe even if you forget to lock up the garage door before you leave.

If you are uncertain about anything involving your garage door, you should speak with a garage door specialist to ensure your safety and the safety of your home.

6) Trim Your Lawn Before You Leave

An overgrown lawn is a sign to potential burglars that you haven’t been home in a while. Before you start your trip, take a day to mow the lawn, pull weeds, and clean the exterior of your home.

If you’re going to be away for a while, you should consider planning out lawn care for the entirety of your trip. You can have someone come by your house once a week to mow the lawn and make the house look cared for in your absence. The upkeep of your home will do a lot to hide the fact that you aren’t there.

7) Set Up Audio/Video Monitoring

If you want to go above and beyond in your efforts to keep your home safe, you can set up audio/video monitoring. This can include options like a doorbell camera or a garage door opener camera, both of which would serve to monitor the entrances to your home.

The presence of cameras can deter burglars, and it can also provide key evidence if there is an attempt at a break-in while you are away. You will also be able to keep track of the movements of your pet sitters, lawn care workers, and more.

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