Going away for a business trip or a holiday is always a great experience! We all love the sense of adventure and anticipation of new things to see and explore.
Photo by David McBee from Pexels
But what about the things we leave behind? Will everything wait for us in the same state as we left it? The biggest fear and worry we experience has to be connected with unwanted visitors and burglaries.
And rightly so. The FBI says that a burglary happens every 30 seconds on average. Moreover, 3 out of 4 American homes will be victim to burglary in the next 20 years.
Moreover, even if we did alert the neighbors, the numbers don’t go in our favor – most burglaries occur between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. which is a period most of us are away at work.
Data like that must be alerting for folks going on a long trip away. That is why it is important to secure your home when you know you’re going to be out for a prolonged period. Below we explain how to optimize your home for a long trip away using the 5 best methods.
Burglar-Proof Your Home
When you burglar-proof your home start with the windows, the doors, and the locks. These comprise the main points of entry for burglars.
The metal plate that secures your door lock uses the same screws that hold your shelves together. Replace the screws on your current door frame with 3-inch stainless steel screws for additional reinforcement against burglars trying to kick down or break down your door. Electronic smart locks can be used to lock your home remotely, and in the event that something goes wrong they can be used to relock your doors while you are on vacation. The same types of locks and reinforcements can be applied to your windows. This will prevent burglars from being able to break in through a window in order to steal from you.
Similarly, consider replacing your front door with a strong wood door or a steel or fiberglass option, the latter two being very low maintenance and durable but all three being incredibly strong.
Keep the Garage Secure
While most people focus only on the front doors and back doors, they forget the garage doors. Your garage serves as another possible point of entry, and even if you have a door leading into your home from the garage that remains securely locked, there is likely a lot that can be burglarized directly in your garage.
The FBI reports the average burglary loss to be $2,661, a figure that can come just from the goods you store in your garage. Be sure to lock the interior and the exterior of your garage and if you go on vacation, keep your vehicle inside. If you have a security code for your garage, hide it with the same level of secrecy you apply to your debit card.
Most of us with remote garage door openers carry those inside our vehicles, so if you plan to leave your car parked in the driveway be sure to deactivate that remote opener or take it away with you, as this is an easy way in for an experienced burglar.
Consider upgrading to a Smart garage door opener that you can monitor from your phone while on vacation; illuminate the area, add locks, and a potential security system.
Most people vacation in the summer, and most burglaries happen then too. Statistics show that burglaries increase 10% between June and August. So if you are on vacation in the summer, remember that light matters. Burglars are more likely to break into a home that is not well lit because this provides them cover. Having ample lighting around your property is a simple way to prevent casual thieves from trying to break in.
There are hundreds of different lighting options you can choose from, such as lights along the walkways, around the front doors and back doors to your home as well as garages, or lighting around any outdoor structures you have. The more outdoor lighting you have, the bigger the deterrent will be.
Similarly, most burglars will attack when they think people are not home and they come to this conclusion by observing small things like the presence of lights in a home. Seeing lights go on and off during the day or in the evening is a sign that someone is present. So, light matters inside as much as it matters outside. You can use timers for your lights and structure it through your mobile device too.
Invest in Security Cameras
When you invest in security cameras, consider installing a CCTV that you can use with your mobile device. This technology lets you view videos of activity happening around your home from your smartphone.
When you are on vacation, a dedicated app tied to your home security system can let you check in occasionally, and let you see records of things if they go wrong. Wireless home security cameras come with AI that looks specifically for suspicious activity outside of your home and automatically contacts the authorities in the event that something goes wrong. You can put these cameras not just around your front door, but around your garage, back door, and around the perimeter of your property.
You should also consider having a video doorbell. While it is not likely that a burglar will ring your front door, a video doorbell can still offer records of any attempted burglaries, and it goes a long way toward providing a bit of extra light around your front door, which can prevent additional cover for those attempting to break into your home.
Get a Guard on Duty
Rural areas are more likely to be victimized, with heavily populated states like New York showing only 142 burglaries per 100,000 citizens, and rural areas like New Mexico having 697 burglaries per 100,000 citizens.
No matter where you live, the most secure and effective method is always a real person, and while a friendly neighbor can peek in on your home once a day, a guard on duty as part of your home security system is a far better option. And while traditional security systems can take ages to respond, with the most advanced security solutions you have live security cameras that don’t just monitor and record the activity around your home, but are viewed by a live guard, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If an intruder is spotted, the guards will speak to them directly through the system, and if they don’t leave, contact the police. This type of system functions as a much more secure home security system to deter potential burglaries. The effect is tantamount to having a security guard wandering your property while you are on vacation.
Overall, overkill is the best solution. The more ways you can optimize your home for a long trip, the safer your home will be from burglary.
Tomasz specializes in home safety and security technology. Prior to joining Deep Sentinel, Tomasz has over a decade of marketing leadership experience, ranging from Microsoft to Kissmetrics.