December is here and it’s officially the holiday season. Kids are out of school and many families are using that time off to go on vacation and spend some quality time together away from home. Leaving your home for an extended period of time can be a little scary, especially if you haven’t made the necessary preparations. So, taking inspiration from the classic holiday movie Home Alone, we’ve decided to put together a list of seven great home security tips for protecting your home while you’re away on vacation. Breathe easy parents—now you won’t have to leave your eight-year-old at home to hold down the fort.
No, you shouldn’t leave your lights on at home throughout your entire vacation. Your electric bill will go through the roof, and having your lights on throughout the night may be even more suspicious than not having them on at all. The quick fix is to purchase a light switch timer that you can program to turn your lights on and off according to a schedule. If anyone is watching your house, they’ll see the lights turning on and off and will probably assume someone’s home.
Nothing says “I’m not home” like a pile of yellowing newspapers in the driveway. If you’re going away for any extended amount of time, you should either place a “stop” order on your mail and newspapers or ask a friend or neighbor to pick them up while you’re gone. You can easily put your mail on hold at USPS.com.
Everybody knows to look under the welcome mat, and that conspicuously placed fake rock isn’t fooling a soul. So where do you put your spare key? Leave it with a neighbor or a friend that you trust. It’ll be much safer there than anywhere else.
A lot of people seem to like to publicize whenever they’re going on a fun vacation with their families on social media. Here’s a tip: Don’t. Believe it or not, criminals have access to social media too and will not hesitate to capitalize on an opportunity if you present one. We get it, you’re excited, but wait until you get back to post anything. At least then you’ll have some pictures to share.
Disconnecting your electronics may not deter burglars, but it can save you a lot of money. Electronic items such as televisions, desktop computers, and microwaves use energy even when they’re turned off. Unplugging is a good way to save some cash and protect your appliances from power surges.
This may seem obvious, but you should hide anything of value away from plain sight. Invest in a safe where you can keep jewelry and other valuables to prevent a burglar from seeing anything enticing through a window.
All of the above home security tips are great, but the best way to give the impression that someone’s home is someone actually being home. Ask someone you trust to house-sit while you’re gone. Have them water your plants, pick up your mail and newspapers, and feed your pets if you have any. So, in a way, Home Alone offers the best solution to the problem. No, your house-sitter doesn’t need to set up swinging buckets of paint or heat the front doorknob until it glows, but having someone at home is the most fail-safe way to prevent a break-in.
Do you know any other home security tips that could be useful this winter? We’d like to hear them. Share them with us on social media!