15 Ways to Protect Your Home While You’re on Vacation

In Home Defense Tips by homedefense

Your family is all ready to go on that awesome vacation you planned. Maybe you are heading to the beach or possibly taking a fun cruise. Wherever you are taking your trip, you want to leave knowing that your home is safe and secure. It’s important to know how to protect your home while you are away for an extended amount of time. There are several things you need to do before leaving on your trip. I’d like to share with 14 ways to protect your home while you’re on vacation. Let’s look at important details you need to consider before you leave.

The most effective tactic to keep away the thieves, is to make it look like you are still living in the home, although it is empty.  Burglars do not usually want to break into a home if they think you are there. They want a vacant home to make the theft much easier and it also minimizes the risk of being caught.

Let’s consider these 15 ways to protect your home while you’re gone.

1. Install timers to turn on and off lights

You really want people to think you are home, so having lights turn off and on makes it look like someone is there. You can get a timer to hook up to a couple of rooms and set the timers to turn on or turn off the lights at set times. You do not need to set up every room with timers, you only need to set up just a few rooms. If you have a smart house, you can just use your phone or set up times with the smart home to turn on and off lights. Make sure you schedule your timers for the duration of the time you will be gone.

2. Leave a TV or radio on while gone

I know it takes some electricity just to leave your TV or radio on while you are gone, but this is a very effective tactic. This is one of the things a burglar listens for when they approach a home. If they hear a TV or radio on, they will assume you are home and that makes it less likely that they will try to break in.

3. Ask a neighbor to check on the home

This is easy enough unless you do not trust any of your neighbors. We have been fortunate to trust several of our neighbors in the past to watch our home while we are gone. The same neighbors will ask us to do the same especially the neighbors that have pets. The woman next to us has chickens and we look after them every time she leaves town for work and vacations.  If you don’t have trustworthy neighbors, I recommend you ask a friend or family member to drive by for a quick check regularly.

4. Stop the mail or have a neighbor pick up the mail

You need to get the mail stopped or have a neighbor grab the mail. Having over flowing mail in the mailbox is a good sign no one is home. You also need to make sure if you ordered any packages from an online retailer that you ask your friend, family member, or neighbor to grab it while you’re gone. You do not want a package sitting on the porch all week. This is a clear invitation to a thief to not only steal the package, but break into your empty house.

5. Stop newspaper deliveries

If you have newspaper deliveries, this is something you will also want to stop or have your neighbor, friend, or family member pick up daily for you. Piled up newspapers on your door step is a dead giveaway you are on vacation and another invitation to a criminal.

6. Don’t post vacation pictures on social media while you are gone

It’s so much fun sharing pictures of you and your friends or family on social media, and it’s even more fun if you are on vacation! Unfortunately, when you post pictures of you on your trip, you are telling the online world that you are NOT at your home. This can be a dangerous invitation to people you don’t even know that see your posts and pics on your social media outlets. There are criminals who will scan for posts and pictures on social media to target a home. So as hard as it might be, you need to wait until you get back home to share all your vacation pictures on social media. 

7. Close the blinds

I would close the blinds so no one can look through the windows and into your home. If people can see into your home, they can see all the valuable you have and get a good idea what they can steal if they are a thief. I keep the blinds or curtains in our home closed most of the time, but and especially at night. During the day, you can surely let the daylight sunshine in and open up your blinds or curtains, but just make sure to close them before you go to bed and always close them before you leave town.

8. Consider purchasing a video doorbell

I have an AKASO video doorbell and it works great for what I need to do. If someone rings the doorbell or it detects motion it will alert you that someone is at your door. You can the look on the phone app to see who is at the door. You can also talk to them making it seem like you are home even though you maybe on a beach in Florida. This is a great deterrent for burglars looking for an easy score. You can check out video doorbells on our products page HERE.

9. Turn off non-essential items

You should shut off the water valve in the basement, so if a pipe started leaking, your whole house won’t get flooded. You can install smart home sensors to alert you if there is a water leak issue. You should also adjust the heat or air conditioning for the home since you will not be there.

10. Home Security Systems

You can put in a home security system to keep the home protected while you are away on your vacation. (You can surely use it when you are back home too.) The alarm system would alert you and the police if someone broke in while you were gone. There are many systems to choose from, so make sure you pick the right system for you and your family. These systems will monitor any motion in the house and you can also add window plus door devices to alert you if your doors or windows are broken into. You can do a wireless home system like I have or you can do a wired system. Home alarm systems do cost a monthly fee for the monitoring, but most customers say it’s worth the cost to have a protected home. If you need a Home Security System try on of these.

11. Home Camera System

Burglars do not care to have their faces caught on camera. They really shy away from homes that have security cameras placed on the property. If you are on vacation, these camera systems deter criminals from targeting your home. You can also use your phone to monitor the home while looking through the camera system to check on the house. You just want to make sure you get a camera system that does everything you want it to do. You can check out the home camera systems on our products page.

12. Lock the doors and windows

This may sound foolish, but we can all remember a time when we forgot to lock our doors or we leave our garage door open. It can happen to the best of us, especially if we are in a hurry to leave.  It’s really important to be mindful of this every day, but especially before you leave town for an extended period of time. Most burglars look for and often find open windows and doors to get into a home. When you leave on vacation make sure everything is locked and the garage door is closed.

13. Hide the hide key

Take the extra key you have and put it in the house until you get back. No reason to leave it out for someone to find and use. You should invest in an outside garage door opener so you can use it to access the garage with a code. This makes it easy to get into the garage and home but does not compromise the security of your home by having an extra key under a mat or a secret rock.

14. Don’t change the recording on your answering machine

You do not want to put on your message machine that you are on vacation so just keep the old message. You do not want anyone to know the house is empty, if someone calls.

15. Keep your front and back door lights on.

It’s imperative that you keep both back porch lights and front porch lights on while you are on vacation. Leaving your home entrances dark is another way to higher your risk of a burglary. You also want to make sure your outdoor lighting is really good and not just a dim light. The more lit up your house is, the more deterred the criminal will be. If you need to put your outside lights on a timer, then do it.

These safety practices are effective in keeping your home safe when you and your family go out of town on vacation.  If you do everything we have listed above, then your home will be really secure and you can relax and enjoy your vacation. You will not have to worry about a break-in, water pipe leaks, or any other issues that may come up with the home while you are away. Use this as your guide when you get ready to leave on any vacation. The more security strategies you can put into place, the less likely your home will be a target. You can read more on how to prevent burglars from targeting your home