Your bags are packed, airplane tickets in hand, and your family is in the car. You’re ready to go on vacation, and a well-deserved one at that! One last thing, is your home secure? Have you done everything you can to safeguard your property and valuables?
While everyone needs a vacation now and then, it is important to make sure your home is fully protected before you leave. Preventative measures will not only help avoid disaster, but allow you and your family to rest easy and enjoy your time off. There are many steps you can take to protect your home from break-ins and burglary, allowing you to focus on what’s most important-laying out in the tropical sun with an umbrella drink in hand!
Install a Home Security System
If you don’t have one already, a home security system is an effective way to prevent home invasions and burglaries. A comprehensive security system would include a burglar alarm, motion detectors, window and door sensors, fire alarms, smoke and carbon detectors, home automation, and a monitoring service. Systems that are fully integrated with your home allow you to adjust your lighting, thermostat, and so much more from your central control panel. With wireless home automation you can access these types of features via an app on your mobile device (like the one available on Alarm.com).
Homes without a security system are more likely to be broken into. In fact, “A home without a security system is 2 to 3 times more likely to be burglarized.” As experts in the field of home security systems, our team of professionals at Perfect Connections, Inc. understand the importance of protecting your home, especially while you can’t be there. We have been providing security system solutions to homes in Northern and Central New Jersey for the past 22 years. Our team can assess the security needs specific to your home and provide a system that is tailored to you. We want to help you avoid potential catastrophe.
Have Someone Stop By or Stay
Having a trustworthy relative or friend/neighbor stop by your home on a regular basis, or even stay there, while you’re on vacation can be a helpful crime deterrent. It can make it appear as if you and your family are still home. Having someone there to tend to your plants, animals, and general upkeep will prevent your home from looking uninhabited, which to a criminal means, “open for business.” Whomever you charge with caring for your home should be given your vacation contact information and spare key in case of an emergency. There are services where you can hire house sitters/pet sitters, but they’re likely to be pricier than a friend or family member.
Stop the Mail
Unless you already have a post office box, you likely receive mail at your home. When you are going on vacation or leaving your home for an extended period of time, you want to make sure you have your local post office hold your mail until your return. A mailbox that is bursting at the seams can tipoff criminals that you’re away. It’s best to either stop your mail, which you can conveniently do online HERE, or have a trustworthy friend/relative check and pick it up frequently. The post office can hold your mail for up to 30 days. This idea holds true for newspaper delivery as well. If you subscribe to a newspaper, make sure they don’t pile up on your front step or in your driveway while you’re gone.
Time Your Lights
Setting timers for your interior and exterior lights can be an effective crime deterrent. It’s better than leaving lights on throughout the entirety of your vacation. Leaving lights on the whole time will not only run-up your energy bill, but create suspicion for criminals who might be watching your house. They’ll notice that certain lights never go on or off indicating no one is around. With a comprehensive security system, you can set timers before you leave, and with home automation you can change your settings from afar if need be.
Beware of Social Media
While it may be tempting to share/brag to all of your friends and family on social media about your upcoming trip, it’s not the best idea. Why? By posting the time and date of your trip, you’re basically advertising the fact that you won’t be home. Even with privacy settings set to their limits, be weary of sharing such private information, you never know who is watching, sharing, and searching. This is important to keep in mind throughout the duration of your vacation. Again, while posting photos of you and your family in tropical bliss seems innocent, you’re providing evidence that you’re not home.
Lock It Up!
Locking your doors and windows may seem like an obvious security measure, but it’s easily forgotten. It’s not uncommon for people to leave back doors or windows unlocked for family members or frequent visitors. It’s a simple, yet effective, step to take in protecting your home. Locks are the first line of defense, don’t forget to check them before you leave.
Turn Off/Unplug Appliances
Unplugging or turning off appliances will help save on your energy bill. Also, it will help prevent potential power surges or electrical fires. Things like coffee makers, computers, and TVs should be unplugged unless you have someone staying or stopping by regularly. Unplugging appliances before you leave helps alleviate any worry that you might have accidentally left something on or running.
Alert Local Authorities & Alarm Company
If you’re planning on being away for longer than an extended weekend, it might be a good idea to alert the local authorities. They may be more inclined to go past your home on their patrol routes if they know you’re gone. If you have a security system with a monitoring service, it is crucial they are made aware of your leave. This will help avoid false alarms and make them more vigilant of any irregularities.
Depending on where you live you’ll want to adjust your thermostats or time them appropriately. Homes in the northeast and cooler climates will want to make sure temperatures don’t fall below 55 degrees to avoid freezing pipes. Home automation allows you to adjust the temperature from afar. One of the benefits to this technology is coming back to an already warmed up or cooled down home.
If you’re going away be prepared. If you haven’t already, consider a comprehensive home security system. The peace of mind you’ll have is priceless. If you live in Northern or Central New Jersey don’t hesitate to contact our specialists at Perfect Connections, Inc.. We can provide you with a personalized system that is right for your unique home. We’ve been helping homeowners protect what matters most since 1992.
If you live in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.