Its midsummer and there is a good chance that you will be taking a vacation, leaving your home unattended for several days or longer. That potentially puts your home and valuables at risk.
Security systems are a great way to protect your home and get assistance in case the alarm goes off. But who wants to deal with that sort of situation while on vacation. It is much better to take steps to avoid a break-in in the first place.
Here are 12 simple to implement techniques that you can do to minimize the risk of your home being targeted by bad people while you are on your vacation.
- Stop mail delivery during your vacation.
- Step newspaper delivery during your vacation.
- Don’t tell the world about your plans but do tell trusted neighbors and the police that you will be gone. (This means no notes on Facebook or twitter about your vacation until after you get back home.)
- Give a spare key and emergency number to a trusted neighbor. And ask if he or she will just check in your house from time to time if you are gone for more than a few days. This will ensure no one vandalized the home in an area not commonly seen from the street and also ensure that the mechanical systems (heat, air, water, etc.) are still functioning properly and not in need of repair.
- If you are gone for more than a few days, consider having someone take care of your yard so it looks as well kept as when you are home.
- Turn off the ringer on the telephone. This will prevent someone from ringing your number while standing at the front door. Also, if you have a home answering machine, turn its volume off too for the same reason.
- Do not record an answering machine message broadcasting the fact that you are on vacation. And do not change your work voice mail to reflect your vacation unless required by your employer.
- Don’t close all your blinds/curtains unless you routinely leave them all closed. A thief driving by will notice the change and target your house.
- Close and lock all doors – including your garage door – and any sheds, storage buildings and gates on your property.
- If possible, have a vehicle occasionally parked in your driveway. A neighbor may be willing to park there from time to time. Or if you routinely keep cars outside, consider having a neighbor move any car left in the driveway from time to time to make it look like someone is home and using the car.
- Consider getting a few light timers so that you can have lights turn on/off in a pattern that reflects your typical after dark light usage when you are home.
- Let your trusted neighbors know your schedule so that they can call the police if they see something that otherwise might not look suspicious – like a work truck in your driveway.
A final thing you might consider is a web enabled security system. This will let you check what is going on in all the video zones in your house any time from the web, a smart phone, etc. They are relatively inexpensive and make for a good “instant” check of your home. A good model is: Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264 Internet & 3G Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR with 4 Night Vision Cameras and 500 GB HD
Like all security, it is only as good as its implementation. The above 12 items take just minutes to implement and can mean the difference between coming home to a safe, secure house or the chaos of a break-in.