They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but we’re not here to talk about fruit or healthcare. You want to keep intruders away from your home when you travel. Consider the following tips to improve your home’s security and give yourself greater peace of mind the next time you go away for business or pleasure.
Keep Your Property Maintained
Burglars are less likely to attempt a break-in if they think you are at home. A neglected yard in front of an otherwise nice home is a strong indicator that the owner’s not around, so regardless of the time of year, keep up the yard work. Hire someone to mow the lawn, rake the leaves or clear snow. Don’t allow newspaper and mail deliveries to collect: put those services on hold or have a neighbor pick them up for you every day.
You can further create the illusion of occupation by setting timers on your television, radio and lights to turn them on and off at key times during the day. Motion sensors around the outside of the home are also useful deterrents. You might give a house key to a friend and have them pull into your driveway and enter your home now and then to show activity. Or you could hire a house sitter so that someone is actually watching over your property. Don’t hire just anyone though: check references to make sure the person is trustworthy.
Secure Every Point of Access
Don’t overlook any form of entry. Every door and window must have a good lock, and you must check all of them before you leave. That includes even the more obscure windows and doors to porches and basements, as well as bulkheads and garage doors.
Give burglars a reason to steer clear of your property by posting prominent signs that tell everyone to beware of the dog and that you have a security system. Even if you have neither, few potential intruders will take the time to find out.
Park a Car in the Driveway
Leave a car parked in your driveway when you’re away. Arrange for someone to clear it of snow if necessary, or that snow-covered car will send exactly the wrong message to burglars.
Don’t leave easily-stolen items visible from outside of your home. Put jewelry, laptops and other valuables away in a safe or tucked out of sight. Don’t flaunt what you have.
Install a Security System
Everything discussed above will help, but the best way to guard against intruders is to install an electronic security system that includes door and window sensors, motion sensors, and 24/7 monitoring service to alert authorities. Modern systems even allow you control lights remotely and check the premises while you’re away.