Going Away for Vacation? Secure Your Home with These Tips.

Summer vacation

You’re thinking about your vacation and you can’t wait to hop on that plane and jet away to somewhere warm and sunny for the week.

(You deserve it, after all).

Before heading to the airport, you’ll want to ensure your home is properly secured beyond just locking the doors and setting the alarm (if you have one).

After all, you don’t want to come home to discover your home’s been vandalized. Nor do you want to spend your vacation worrying about your house instead of enjoying your time off.

With that in mind, be sure to use these easy-to-follow tips from the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders’ Association to keep your home safe and sound.

Halt mail delivery

To a would-be burglar, an overflowing mailbox or pile of packages on your doorstep is a sure sign of an empty house.

  • Use a community mailbox? Holding your mail keeps it from filling up. Otherwise, when there’s no more room inside, any undelivered mail gets returned back to the sender.

If you’re going to be away for the entire week – or even just a few days – contact Canada Post to put a hold on your mail delivery.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to place a hold on other deliverables too, such as:

  • Newspapers
  • Magazine/media subscriptions
  • Prescriptions
  • Packages

Create the appearance that someone’s home

If you haven’t already, pick up a timer and set your electronic devices to it:

  • Lights
  • TV
  • Radio

That’s a simple way to make your home look occupied; even if it isn’t.

Some other things you can do include:

  • Park a car in the driveway: Burglars won’t target a home with a parked car in the driveway. If you’ll be taking your car to the airport (and leaving it there), ask a neighbour to park their car in your driveway.
  • Keep up regular appearances: Let’s say you keep outdoor toys on your front porch. Tidying them up before your holiday interrupts the appearance of the home being lived in. Naturally, you’ll want to clean up before leaving. Just don’t do too much of it.

Stay off social media

Stay off social media

As excited as you are to publicly share your vacation plans and “check in” when you reach your destination, you should hold off on doing so.

Here’s why:

  • There’s no guarantee that only your friends will see that information
  • Privacy settings on Facebook or Twitter aren’t always reliable
  • Criminals do look on social media for clues which will lead them to an unoccupied home

Once you’re back from your vacation, post your photo gallery and share the details of your trip with friends and family.

Until then, don’t reveal your holiday schedule (and make sure your kids don’t either).

Place valuables inside your home safe (if you own one)

Open your personal safe and stick valuable items and documents inside, such as:

  • Passports
  • Jewelry
  • Cash
  • Documents (bills, home ownership, insurance, etc.)
  • Bank statements
  • Extra keys

Having your home burglarized is terrible enough.

You don’t want to compound the issue by risking identity theft due to leaving identifiable documents out and about.

Home alarm sign

Highlight your security system…even if you don’t actually have one

If you have a home security system, it probably came with stickers, decals, and signs for you to place around your property.

Ensure those signs are in visible, easy-to-spot locations.

No security system? No problem.

It’s possible for you to purchase fake alarm stickers and signs which look real enough to ward off would be thieves.

Plus, you can pick fake (but real looking enough) video cameras and install them in visible locations too.

Walk around your home before leaving

No one is as familiar with your home as you.

Because of this, you may not notice some potential security gaps, such as:

  • Loose door hinges
  • Cracked frames
  • Missing window screens
  • Old, unsecure locks

You’ll need to think like a burglar and inspect your property. If something looks like a security issue, you may want to hire a renovator and get it taken care of before going away.

Enjoy your trip 100% worry-free

Nothing ruins a trip more than sitting around and wondering about the safety and security of your home.

However, if you follow the 6 tips listed in this blog, you won’t have to think about it.

Looking for more helpful information from the HHHBA?

Contact us with your questions or comments. We’ll get back to you ASAP with the answers you need.

You can also:

One more thing: Have a safe and enjoyable vacation!