By: Lorraine Mondello

How To Keep Your Home Safe While You Are Away

Tags: homeowners, safety tips, real estate

Summer is in full bloom, and many homeowners are looking forward to their summer holidays somewhere at a beach at the seaside to recharge their batteries. Still, many homebuyers find it hard to relax knowing they will leave their home behind unattended for a week or two.  What can you do to protect your home while you are away? If you don’t have surveillance or an alarm system, here are some tips on how to keep burglars away while you are vacationing.

Exterior Lighting
Exterior lighting is still the #1 trick, but you may need more than just one lightbulb at the front porch. Make sure the back of your home is covered, too. Check if all the exterior lights are working before you leave and set a timer so that they go on during the night and off in daylight. Motion sensor lights are also a  great choice. You can also have a relative or neighbor turn on and off the lights on a daily basis. The only thing that matters is that it appears that you regularly come home every evening.

Go a step further with smart timers
Timers are the perfect invention to trick burglars into thinking you’re home. Besides lighting, time your TV to go on and off at intervals. It will confuse potential burglars. It’s hard to figure out that someone’s not there if the home seems occupied.

Don’t break usual habits
You will lock up all the doors of course, but don’t overdo it with behaving out of the ordinary. Burglars have the habit to examine their target surrounding before they act, so make sure to leave your home as you usually would when you go to work. For example, if you keep your blinds always up, don’t lower them as it may give you away. Unusual activity always draws attention.

Also, if mail should pile up in your mailbox, ask your neighbors to pick it up for you to maintain the impression that someone’s home at all times.

Keep your holiday trip under the radar
With today’s social media sharing and posting, it has become easier to target empty homes. Many people share posts and photos from the airport, the beach, hotel, etc., and that is exactly what they should avoid, especially if they are traveling with the whole family. Wait with the posts until you get back home. Of course, you can tell your neighbors, family and friends, but try to keep the information from the wider public. Another tip is to load your luggage in the garage and not in the open street where everyone can see you.

Don’t leave your belongings lying randomly around
Check your home for any bags, jewelry (even if cheap) or perfume bottles laying randomly around especially if they are visible through the window.  They can attract burglars if they can be spotted through the window. Therefore tables, counters and all visible surfaces should be left clutter-free.

Tuck your valuables and documents away
You probably keep your valuables and  ID documents already in a  secret place, like the back of your closet or in a secluded drawer, but if you are going to be away for a longer time, it might be better to rent a safety deposit box in your bank to avoid identity theft and losing precious items.

 Ask neighbors to check on the home
Have neighbors check on your home for any damage, like a leak, a broken window, etc. We all grow a little paranoid when leaving our homes, so it will give you peace of mind to know someone is around in case of an emergency.