How to prevent break-ins while you’re on holiday
There’s nothing like packing up the family and getting away for a much-deserved holiday. But while you’re trying to relax on the beach the criminal element is still hard at work and your home is vulnerable.
The last thing you want is to spend your holiday worrying if burglars are ransacking your home while you’re away. While a home security system is a step in the right direction, there is plenty more you can do to protect your property while you’re away.
So before you head off on your next vacation, invest in a little peace of mind with these great tips for protecting your home.
- Lock up
“Of course I’m locking up before I go on holiday!” I can hear you say. But are you really? Locking up involves more than just making sure the doors and windows are locked before you jump in the car. Consider overhauling your door and window locks before going away. Invest in sturdy deadbolts for your front and rear doors. Replace window latches with proper locks. Add padlocks to the flimsy front and side gate latches. More locks (and bigger, tougher locks) will add additional layers of security to your property. At the end of the day, these may not be enough to keep out a determined burglar, but it will slow them down, make the work harder and, with luck, will deter some burglars.
- Invest in a quality home security system
A home security system can be invaluable for protecting your property while you’re on vacation. However, simply having an alarm isn’t enough. What good is a security alarm system if you’re not around to respond to it?
There are plenty of ways to upgrade your home security system. Wi-fi enabled CCTV cameras, for example, let you see what’s happening on your property from anywhere in the world via your computer or smartphone. Using motion sensor and night-vision technology, these cameras can alert you (or your security company) when there’s any movement on your property.
You can even combine these security camera systems with smart-home technology, such as the ability to remotely turn lights on and off and pan and zoom your cameras.
Not only will you be immediately alerted to any activity on your property, but you can call your security company or the police while the intruder is in your home, as well as have saved footage of the break-in.
- Exterior motion sensor lights
Burglars love to work in darkness. So, why give them a helping hand? Strategically placed sensor lights can be an excellent deterrent. Place security lights at the more vulnerable points of entry, like front doors and windows and side gates. While a motion sensor light may be great for a front porch (since the burglar will likely be visible from the street), a light in an enclosed backyard may do nothing more than give a burglar some helpful light to work with.
- Create interior activity
Most home break-ins are opportunistic. That means that little planning or forethought goes into the break-in. In such cases, the illusion of interior activity in the house can be enough to put off the would-be burglar.
Putting lights, TVs and stereos on timers can be enough to convince the casual observer that someone is at home. A well-lit room with a TV on may be enough to deter a potential burglar.
Smart-home technology can also be useful here, as you can control things like lights, blinds and stereo equipment from a smartphone app.
- Get some help
Leave a set of keys with friends or neighbours and ask them to pop in every couple of days to check up on the place. They can make sure everything is still secure and remove any piling up mail that may indicate that no one is at home. And, most importantly, if someone is coming and going, then any burglar watching the property will be unsure whether there is someone home or not.
- Hide or store your valuables
Of course, nothing will make your home completely impenetrable. So, don’t reward the tenacious burglar by leaving valuables lying around. Hide or store any items that have monetary or sentimental value. Consider using a hidden safe for smaller valuables like jewellery or cash.
For any larger valuable items, consider leaving them with friends before you go away, or even leaving them with a storage company while you’re away.
Obscuring the line of sight into the house can also be useful for deterring burglars. By simply drawing the curtains, you block the view inside making it harder for burglars to see if you have anything worth stealing. You can also have a look on our blog on the Top Tips for Home Security Camera Placement
While there is no foolproof way of protecting your property from break-ins, investing in a high-quality home security system is a good start. But just as important is being smart about home security. Don’t give burglars any easy ins or incentive to break in. Remember, unless a burglar has a particular reason for wanting to break in to your home, chances are they will move on to another house if yours looks too difficult.