Dont Leave Your Home a Sitting Duck: 7 Ways to Secure Your Home While Youre Gone

  • 11 years ago
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It can be scary to leave your house when you go on vacation, especially if you’re going several states away or leaving the country. With new home security technology and helpful neighbors, leaving home doesn’t have to be as scary. Here are some things you can do to help deter burglars while you’re away.

Don’t Advertise That You’re Leaving

Image via Flickr by bengsoon

Before you head out, don’t tell everyone that you’ll be leaving or how long you’ll be gone. This includes on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, because you never know who will find out by word of mouth. Keep this information to those you know and trust.

If you do let it slip that you’re traveling out of town somewhere public you could mention that your family member or friend is kind enough to house sit for you, even if they’re not. 

Burglars specifically skim through social media sites to find out when people are going out of town, and then find more information on them so they can find their homes. Don’t become a victim, don’t publicize your vacation until you get back. 

Have Someone Pick-up Mail

If you have an unlocked mailbox right in front of your house, ask a neighbor you trust to pick your mail up for you. This goes for newspaper delivery as well. Piled up mail and newspapers are a sure sign that you’re not around, making your home a target. 

If you don’t have a neighbor who can help, consider having the post office hold your mail while you’re gone. You can call the local newspaper to ask that your newspaper be held as well. Also, when you leave your home for vacation, don’t forget to put your garbage and recycling bins away so they aren’t sitting by the curb for your whole trip. 

Use Timers for Lights

You can find plug-in timers at home improvement stores that are easy to install and use. Plug lamps into these timers and you can set a specific time at night for the light to come on and go off. Digital timers can be set for different times on different days. 

Some even have a random setting, so it’s not obvious that it’s being controlled by a timer. You could also plug a radio, TV, or music player into the timer, so it’s not just lights that come on. Some newer technology imitates the different colors of your television so it looks like someone’s watching TV to someone outside your home. 

Lock up the House

Though locks won’t keep all criminals out, having the doors and windows locked will keep out many burglars because of the time it takes to break in. Many are looking for easy targets and a locked house, especially one with a deadbolt on all outside doors, will deter many thieves.

Invest in a Security System

If you’re really worried about your home, consider getting a high-tech security system. There are many options available, including ADT Pulse, which has a complementary security app for iPhones that lets you check on your home while you’re away, giving you peace of mind.

With a security system in place, you’ll vacation without worry because you’ll know you have a whole company keeping an eye on your house. If an attempted break-in does occur, you’ll be notified through your security company so they can send the police to check on your home. 

Other preliminary measures include noise detectors and video surveillance from either in your home or from the outside. You can check the videos from your smartphone or a computer, so you’ll always have an eye on your home. 

It’s always good to have full home insurance coverage in case something does happen to your home that can’t be prevented by a security system. For these instances, view sites like to make sure you’re paying the right amount for the coverage you have.

Hire a House Sitter

If you know of anyone in the area that you trust, ask if he or she would be willing to house sit for you. If you don’t know of anyone, there are referral services you can try such as, which touts that you can get a house sitter for free. This will make the house very lived in and is especially helpful if you have pets or plants that need taking care of.

Encrypt Your Network

It’s not just items that can be stolen while you’re gone. Your personal information, found on your home computers, can also be taken. Your network should always be encrypted to prevent this type of theft. While you’re gone, consider turning the network off if you’re not planning on accessing your home computers while you’re gone.

Nothing’s worse than coming home from a wonderful vacation and finding you’ve been robbed. Follow these simple tips and most likely that won’t happen.

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