You’re final­ly going away on your well-deserved vaca­tion! To ensure that you enjoy every sin­gle minute of it and not wor­ry about what may hap­pen to your house while you are away, con­sid­er the fol­low­ing ways to safe­guard your house.

Secure the Entry Points

Con­sid­er installing dead­bolt locks on all doors. Dead­bolts are effec­tive against a break-in because they make it very hard for bur­glars to kick the doors in and gain quick entry. If this mea­sure is not pos­si­ble, at least don’t for­get to firm­ly lock ALL the doors, along with all the win­dows when you leave.

Be Smart With The Light­ing

Although it’s a good idea to leave your lights on when you’re not in the house at night make it look like some­one is home, leav­ing them on dur­ing the day will just tip the thieves to your trick. Con­sid­er buy­ing a light switch timer that can be pro­grammed to turn your lights on and off at the usu­al times.

Get Neigh­bourly

Hope­ful­ly you have a good rela­tion­ship with at least one of your neigh­bours. Ask them to keep an eye out on the house while you’re away, and don’t for­get to bring them a lit­tle “thank you” gift from the exot­ic (or not so exot­ic) locale where you vaca­tioned!

Tip off the Police

It might be a good idea to call the police to let them know if you’re going on an extend­ed vaca­tion – they just may do a ran­dom dri­ve-by your house while on patrol in the neigh­bour­hood.

Get An Alarm Sys­tem

An alarm sys­tem is always a red flag for the bur­glar. In fact, secu­ri­ty sys­tem yard signs and win­dow decals alone serve as a deter­rent to a break-in. You can either get an inex­pen­sive unmon­i­tored secu­ri­ty sys­tem that will just set off a loud noise when acti­vat­ed and hope­ful­ly scare the intrud­er away, or you can invest in a mon­i­tored home secu­ri­ty sys­tem that will noti­fy the police and you that your house has been bro­ken into.

(Some mon­i­tored sys­tems also do oth­er things like noti­fy­ing you when there is smoke or oth­er irreg­u­lar­i­ties inside or around the house.)

Set Up Your Land­line Phone

Nev­er include in your voice mes­sage that you will be away on a vaca­tion, and remem­ber to clear your mes­sages as fre­quent­ly as you can. A “voice­mail full” mes­sage says that you haven’t been home to check your mes­sages. You should also turn down your phone ringers so passers­by won’t be able to hear the phone ring­ing and nobody answer­ing it.

Leave The House Look­ing Occu­pied

Keep in mind that any notice­able changes inside and around the house hint that the home­own­ers may be gone. So, leave your cur­tains exact­ly as you usu­al­ly keep them when you’re home. If you usu­al­ly leave the cur­tains open, leave them open, but move expen­sive items, like any elec­tron­ics or valu­able décor pieces out of sight.

If you’re gone for more than two weeks, arrange to have your lawn mowed by a neigh­bour or a friend. If you’re vaca­tion­ing in the win­ter, make sure that some­one also removes the snow from your dri­ve­way. No tire tracks or foot­steps on a fresh­ly snow-cov­ered dri­ve­way speak vol­umes that nobody has been around the house.

It goes with­out say­ing that you should also have some­one pick up your mail, news­pa­pers and fliers. Accu­mu­lat­ed deliv­er­ies in front of the door are a sure sign for the bur­glar that nobody is home. But also remem­ber to have a neigh­bour take your trash to the street on garbage col­lec­tion days, or have them place some of their trash and recy­cling bins at your curb.

And leave a gen­er­al impres­sion that the house is being lived in. For instance, keep a lawn chair on the porch, and maybe a gar­den hose lying around to make it look as if some­one has just been water­ing the plants.

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