Authored by Tyler Pack
Regardless of whether you own your home or you’re on a lease agreement, one of your biggest priorities when preparing to leave for overseas should be the safety of your property.
Your neighborhood may be a safe place, and you might even feel confident leaving the doors unlocked when you duck down to the shops, but when you leave your home vacant for weeks on end, it’s essential that everything is properly secured.
Burglaries nowadays are rising, especially now that social media makes it easy for would be thieves to identify when you’re not at home (read this post we recently wrote on the dangers of posting your travel updates live).
And beyond that there are the possibilities for weather damage, and accidents like fire, or flooding if a tap was inadvertently left on. To avoid all of the above, here are some simple ways to keep your property safe and secure.
4 Simple Steps to Secure Home from Burglary While Traveling
Secure the Doors and Windows
Most burglars enter through the front door of a house. We know there’s a lot to think about as you’re rushing out the door with your passport, but it’s really important to go around the house and lock every windows and door.
Keep in mind that most burglars are opportunistic, and only enter the house because of an opened door. When it comes to your exterior doors, you need to check it from time to time to confirm that it’s sturdy.
If your door has a mail slot, test it out to make sure that no one can reach in to access the lock. To make it more secure, you can install a deadbolt, smart lock, and add a strike plate.
In addition to that, you can also boost your security by adding a doorbell video. This way, you’ll know who’s behind your door or outside your house. And even if you buy fake cameras to place on your home exterior, this in itself can be a deterrent.
If you’re unsure about your sliding doors, you can use a window bar to keep them protected from intruders. And there are security devices you can install to boost your security such as door and glass break sensor.
Install a Home Security System
There are a lot of home security systems on the market today, and each one has its unique set of features. But at a basic level you should make sure it includes door sensors, window sensors, outdoor motion detectors, security cameras, and outdoor alarms.
You need to check and choose the most suitable device to protect your home from intruders. And it’s important that you know the different types of security systems for you to understand their features well, and choose the best one for your house.
Read reviews (like this frontpoint review by security baron) to make sure you’re getting a reputable home security system. Once you install it, it’s important to check that it works before you head off overseas.
It may be inconvenient for you to arm the alarm whenever you’re leaving the house or before going to bed, but this can get you into the habit, which means you won’t forget to arm it when you travel.
Light it Up
Burglars and thieves tend to sneak into homes during the night time, or if they note that a home is dark. It might not save you money on electricity, but it should be one of your priorities to make your home bright.
You need to be cautious of leaving lights and electricity on for extended periods of time when you’re not around to check on the home, so you can instead choose to install motion sensors with a light trigger outside your house.
Or, you can also install lights that you can control remotely over your phone or set it on a timer. For the interior, you can put lights beside your windows to send the message to anyone lurking that there’s someone outside your house.
Generally when locking up the house for an extended period of time away, we recommend turning off all power points and sources of electricity so that it doesn’t spark a fire in your absence. In this case our best recommendation is to have someone you trust check in on the house, or house-sit for you to keep the lights on.
Hold Your Social Media Updates Until You’re Home
Posting your travel photos while you’re still on vacation is like sending out an open invitation for someone to come and rob your home.
Local thieves troll social media all the time looking for opportunity. And it’s usually not too difficult to figure out where you live for criminals who do this for a living. And people do do this for a living.
But it doesn’t have to be a stranger; perhaps one of your friends has a delinquent brother who’s seeing the posts from your expensive vacation, and decides he’ll go and help himself to your new flat screen.
So hold your vacation statuses until you get home, and, for the same reason, don’t post travel countdowns in the lead up to your trip. You’re just giving thieves the time for planning.
It’s also important to never assume that your privacy settings on social media mean that only your friends will see your posts. Your friend could be logged in at a coffee shop or library, where it’s easy to see over their shoulder, or a neighbor could mention it to someone in passing.
Know Your Neighbors
One of the primary ways to ensure security is to know your neighborhood, and establish good relationships with your neighbors. They can watch over your house while you’re away, and in the case of an emergency, they’re already onsite to react immediately.
Neighbors are a great resource for being able to collect your mail so that it doesn’t pile up and suggest to people on the street that you might be away, and they can also potentially switch your lights on and off for you.
There are a lot of ways to ensure home security when you’re traveling. Some just come down to common sense, though some might require a bit of work to to establish a habit.
Either way, the tips mentioned above are a great way to keep your home safe and protected when you’re traveling abroad. After all, a home is where the heart is, and you don’t want stress and anxiety to return to when you come home.