Keep Your Home Safe During Summer Vacations

by Christine DemosJune 11, 2013

Keep-Home-Safe

Summers are made for vacations with family and friends. In a recent Homes.com survey, 86% of respondents said they plan on taking a vacation this year and 32% said they plan on that vacation being for at least seven days. Before you hit the road, make sure you don’t forget to take measures to help ensure the safety of your home while you’re away. Empty houses often become targets for burglars because thieves want to get in and out as quickly as possible. Take these safety precautions ahead of time, so you won’t have to worry about the state of your home while you’re gone:

Hold Your Mail

Burglars love seeing mail piling up because it’s an easy-to-spot indicator that you’re not home. Make sure to contact your local post office before you leave and put your mail on hold. You can fill out a hold service form in person, or do it online at USPS.com. Simply give them your address and let them know how long you’d like to postpone service.

Get Neighborly

Some people advise homeowners never to tell others when they’re going on vacation, lest word-of-mouth catch on and a burglar find out. However, telling some trusted neighbors about your vacation can help prevent break-ins. If your neighbor knows you’re gone, they can keep an eye out, and if they hear any suspicious noises coming from your home, they’ll know it’s not you and a phone call to the police is in order. A neighbor can also park their car out front of your home to make it look like you’re still there. Making a home look occupied tends to make burglars think twice.

Keep Your Yard Polished

An unkempt yard signals that you’ve been out of town for a while, and untamed trees and bushes can also provide cover for burglars while they lurk around your home. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, hire someone to take care of your yard while you’re away. If you want to be neighborly, you can even hire a neighborhood teenager to help them earn some summer cash in the process.

Don’t Leave a Spare Key

Thieves aren’t stupid—they know the usual places where people keep their spare keys. Flower pots, doormats, and fake rocks aren’t fooling anyone. Instead of leaving a spare key in a conspicuous place, consider leaving one with a trusted neighbor or family member for emergency purposes. That way, you won’t risk strangers being able to get into your home without even having to break in.

Consider a Security System

For the most peace of mind while you’re away, install a security system with instant notifications. You could be halfway across the world and get a text or email alert if an alarm is tripped or a security camera detects motion. The control of your home will always be in your hands.

Taking safety precautions before a trip means you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation more because you won’t be worrying about what’s going on at home. For more information on home security or for additional travel safety tips, visit www.safewise.com and check out the blog post, How to Travel Safely. If you have additional home safety tips to implement during summer vacations, please share in the comments!

Written By:  Elli is a writer for the home security industry.  When she’s not discussing and exploring issues in home and family safety and security, she can be found traveling, hiking, skiing and enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.

About The Author
Christine Demos
Christine is the Content Marketing Specialist for Homes.com. She's a small town girl at heart, who currently lives in Norfolk, VA with her husband and their fur baby. When she's not working, she enjoys cooking, decorating, traveling, and binge watching Netflix. As a proud Virginia Tech alum, she also loves cheering on the Hokies!

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