7 Ways to Keep Your Home Safe While You Travel – Part I
While we spend much time looking for a safe hotel to stay in when planning for a trip, we also need to take time to keep our home safe when we leave. There are certain criteria that thieves look for in targeting a house. The goal is to avoid these, making your chances of not being in their “hit list” much better.
Burglars pick the most convenient time to break in to a house – when no one is home. Months of July and August as well as during the holidays are the favorite time for thieves. That’s usually the time when we take off for a family reunion or enjoy our hard-earned money on a vacation. Thieves prowl the neighborhood to see which homes are unoccupied. To not convey your absence,
1. Keep mails/newspapers from sight. Have someone pick them up regularly.
2. Keep some lights on. Just a light in an upper room window can signal the presence of someone.
3. During the holidays, keep presents out of sight. Don’t give thieves a reason to “shop” in your house. After the holidays, keep boxes of presents out of sight. You don’t want to let thieves know that you got the latest and greatest in electronics for Christmas.
Thieves pick a house where there’s a place that they can hide in the dark or from public view. To keep them from targeting your house,
1. Add lighting. Light up any dark spots in your yard.
2. Trim bushes/trees. Keep bushes low enough so no one can hide behind it. Keep tree branches trimmed to keep it as far away from your house as much as possible so it can’t be used to access your upper rooms or roof.
Keep gates locked and put a “Beware of dogs” sign to add a bit of fear factor. If, for whatever reason, they still would like to try your house, make it difficult for them to break in. Hopefully, they’ll get frustrated and leave.
1. Use deadbolts. Make sure the area of the lock and door jamb that it’s bolted in is reinforced (such as Door Armor MAX from Armor Concepts) and will not easily break when pried with a crow bar or kicked in. Of course, the door must be solid so it will not break into pieces when forced open.
2. Use sliding door and sliding window security bars for additional protection from forced entry. A piece of 2×2 lumber from your local hardware or an adjustable one from an online store will keep sliding doors/windows fixed on its track.
Next time, we’ll look into how you can make your home smart as an additional option to keeping your home safe and give you a peace of mind while away.