The threat from the COVID-19 pandemic is lessening, and summer is on the horizon. Many people are looking forward to summer break after a year of lockdowns and quarantines. While taking a summer vacation this year, you shouldn’t have to worry about leaving your home unoccupied. Aside from having a home security system installed, here are five other tips for keeping your home safe.
- Lock Your Windows and Doors
Locking windows and doors is one of the easiest tasks to overlook for homeowners excited to be heading on a vacation. Many burglaries occur because criminals can gain access to a home through a window or door that was inadvertently left unsecured. Before going on vacation, you should check your windows and doors to ensure they shut and lock; and don’t forget to check all access points to your garage.
- Keep Your Valuables Out of Sight
Move your valuables and expensive possessions out of plain sight before you go on vacation. Items such as computers, phones, and jewelry can be put into closets or drawers so they don’t tempt burglars who might be able to see them through windows. You also should hide any valuables that you have in your car, especially if leaving the car in the driveway; an often-overlooked item is the garage door opener—you don’t want burglars to use your opener to access your house.
- Put a Hold on Your Mail
Before you go on your summer vacation, make sure to put a hold on your mail. A full mailbox is a sign that you are not at home. Another important thing to remember is that temporarily halting your mail delivery service will help you to avoid mail theft. As such, putting your mail on hold will help protect your home and belongings, as well as your personal information. A mail hold is a key task to do before you leave home.
- Don’t Hide Spare Keys Outside Your House
Leaving a spare key outside one’s house is common among homeowners. But it can undermine home security very easily—it’s like giving criminals an open invitation to enter your home! Even though you might think you have hidden your key well, burglars can uncover keys quickly and easily because they know just where to look. If you must leave a key behind, consider leaving it with a local family member or trusted neighbor instead.
- Take Care of Your Yard
Mowing your lawn and trimming shrubs and trees is important ahead of a vacation. A maintained yard deters criminals because it suggests that someone is or has recently been at home. It also helps deter home invasions because burglars can’t easily conceal themselves behind overgrown plantings to break into your home. If you will be away for an extended period, consider scheduling lawn maintenance once or twice during that time.
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Written by: Erika Mehlhaff