Ensuring that your home is secure before going on vacation can be a lot of work. However, knowing it is secure while you are on vacation will make your stay away from home much more enjoyable.
Preparation is the key to prevention. Did you know that the FBI estimates that 90 percent of all home burglaries are preventable? What’s more interesting, the majority of home break-ins are in the spur of the moment antics by kids who know you are on vacation. Therefore, the fewer people that know you are away, the better.
Make a List
Make a list and check things off as you go. This list should be in two parts, just as this article is. The first part is the physical security elements that might take a little longer to accomplish.
The second part should be those things you need to finish just before you leave. These include such things as locking all the doors and windows, including those basement windows no one remembers being there.
Lock the tool shed and unplug your garage door automatic opener. Many older garage door openers are easily hacked.
External Door Security
External doors should be solid core doors with a deadbolt or multiport lock. The best option is a steel door with a steel frame. Since two-thirds of all burglars come in through the front, rear, or garage door, all external doors should be solid.
Many homeowners use a deadbolt. That message has been driven home over the last few years; however, many use the three-quarter inch screws that come with their bargain lockset. You should use a three-inch screw that goes into the frame.
Browse the Steel Shield Security selection for doors that will not only keep your home secure but will add to your home’s curb appeal.
Nearly one-third of home invaders use a window to gain entry. These are usually basement windows, side, or rear windows often screened from view by landscaping. When you have shrubbery around your windows and doors, you should have motion detectors hooked to floodlights to light up those areas. Once those floodlights come on, the intruders usually scatter.
However, if they know you’re not home, they may proceed to break out the window to get into your home. One sure way to deter them is with window guards. Like our security doors, our window guards can be custom designed to complement your home’s exterior design and add curb appeal.
Install a Home Security System
Home security systems have more and more functions and warnings for residents. Many security systems come with a monitor so that they call law enforcement in case of an emergency. Window and door sensors, external video cameras with infrared, doorbell videos, and much more. Plus, these systems are frequently available for less than what you pay for cable. Install signs and labels to announce that your home is protected.
Use Smart Lighting
Use smart lighting or put lights on timers to make your home look lived in, and talk to a trusted neighbor about bringing in your mail and packages. Never keep a key under a pot or mat outside. Either give it to that trusted neighbor or get a combination lockbox. Make sure whoever mows your lawn or does any upkeep on your home continues to make the place look lived in while you’re away. Call to turn off your newspaper delivery.
Unplug Unneeded Appliances
Unplugging unused appliances and turning off the water main will not prevent a burglary but may prevent a fire or flooding.
You should have your windows tinted to prevent carpet and furnishings from fading, protect your privacy, and keep burglars from looking in and taking inventory. However, you should put valuable items out of sight.
Engrave, Mark, Photograph & Inventory Valuable Items
It’s a good idea to engrave or mark your valuables with a specific mark, such as the first initial of your last name and last four, and then, make an inventory. That way, if someone does get in to steal your things, you will have a list for law enforcement to check. With your inventory, they can check pawn shops for your items and are more likely to recover your stolen goods.
Your inventory should include the item description, brand, serial or model number, and approximate value. The inventory will also assist with any insurance claim.
Social Media & Phone Messages
Make sure everyone in the family knows not to post your plans to Facebook or other social media pages. There will be time to do that when you get back and you still have a computer to post your pictures. Do not leave a phone message that says you will be away on vacation.
Following these few simple steps could prevent a break-in and ensure a happy homecoming.
Steel Shield Security Doors
Call our service technicians about a month before your vacation, (623) 581-3667. They can conduct a physical security check of your home so that you will know of any weaknesses in security. You can also use our online contact form to request a free estimate for security doors, window guards, gates, sunscreens, or Crimsafe mesh.