The best ways to protect a home before going on vacation are first by installing a modern alarm system, and then taking precautionary measures to secure doors, windows and anything of value outside of the house. With the highest percentage of burglaries occurring in the summer months, homeowners can never be too careful.
What Should Homeowners Do to Their Homes Before Going Away?
Homeowners should think like thieves and assess their property to see how a burglar could avoid neighbors’ eyes and gain access. Motion-activated floodlight bulbs can burn out without the homeowner noticing and just prior to a vacation is a great time to inventory all security measures to make sure light bulbs, security sensors and locks are all working as they should.
Here are a few easy home safety strategies homeowners can implement prior to leaving on that much-needed getaway:
1. Make Sure the Alarm System Works and is Activated
Homeowners should install, know how to use and then actually utilize their security systems. Many do not practice the latter two. But just having a security system installed is a giant step toward home safety. Houses without security systems are up to 300% more likely to be broken into.
In addition to door and window security, modern home security systems feature security cameras that cover exterior and interior locations around the home. And most camera systems can provide notifications to the resident’s mobile phones when any kind of motion or other threat is recorded. This provides both an extra level of security and peace of mind because the homeowners can regularly check in on the status of their homes.
2. Make Outsiders Think the Home Is Occupied
Once burglars see that a house appears vacant, their opportunity to break in becomes a realistic option. But leaving the lights on in a home can be dangerous and ineffective. Residents who want to save some money on their electric bill and do not want to leave the lights on while away should use timers that turn lights and electronics on and off at certain times of the day. Some models even pair with a smartphone, giving the homeowners control over outlets from anywhere there is internet or cellular service.
Making the home look like it is occupied can extend beyond controlling the lights. Residents should tidy up the lawn and take care of any outdoor chores before departure so it appears to the burglar that those tasks have been completed recently. In addtion, homeowners can ask neighbors to park in their driveways occasionally to make it look like someone is home.
3. Check Locks and Secure All Sliding Doors With Metal Bars
Most homeowners will notice if a door or window lock has been slipping and thus could be vulnerable to a break-in. But prior to departure, homeowners should inventory all of their doors (including basement access) to make sure the locks work as they should. An intruder can easily bend the lock on even a sliding door and break it open. Every sliding door should have a metal bar going across either the middle or the bottom of the door to prevent an intruder from forcing it open.
4. Protect Windows
Windows are easy access points for break-ins. Installing windows with burglar-resistant glass or with more than one pane of glass is also an effective deterrent that might seem costly, but it is certainly worthwhile within the context of the loss of valuables in the home.
Summer is a peak time for vacations and would-be burglars know this. By taking these simple measures, residents across the country can prevent a significant number of break-ins.
When simple precautions aren’t enough, turn to FTC’s Security offerings to ensure your family and possessions are safe from harm this summer. Whether you are home or away, feel confident knowing your property and possessions are protected. For more information, call us at 888-218-5050 and a representative will be happy to discuss the best security options for your family.