Tips For Protecting Your Home While You’re Away
If you’re about to leave on vacation or you’re moving to a new home and haven’t sold the existing one yet, you may be concerned with home security while you’re gone. A vacant home can be a beacon to would-be thieves, so it’s important to safeguard the structure and everything in it when you’ll be away. This is especially important if you haven’t closed on the home sale yet. Vandalism and theft could be devastating emotionally and financially.
Here’s how you can protect your home when on vacation or in between moving from one house to another.
Invest in a Smart or Programmable Thermostat
You may already be familiar with programmable thermostats, which allow you to set timers for when your heat and AC kick on. But you can take this a step further if you invest in a smart thermostat like Google Nest whereby you can monitor your home’s temperatures remotely. Not only can you turn on and off the heat and AC as needed, you can regulate temperatures in various zones.
Many smart thermostats can self-regulate temperatures. So, if you’ve left on vacation and forgot to set parameters, you can do so from your smart phone. No need to turn the car around and go back.
Lock the House
If you’ll be away from the home for some time, it’s vulnerable to squatters and thieves. While standard locks may deter the least bold of intruders, they won’t get in the way of determined burglars. You may want to install a deadbolt on your entry doors, and install better locks on your windows. You won’t want to give intruders easy access points to the home.
Pay special attention to windows that are above decks, sheds, and other structures that intruders could climb onto to gain access to the home. Don’t forget to lock your garage, too. Many thieves gain access to homes through the garage, either from the main door or the side door attached to the garage. This is a point of vulnerability for many homes, so don’t forget those areas.
Alert Your Neighbors
Before leaving on an extended trip or when you know your home will be vacant between closings, inform trustworthy neighbors of the empty home. They can keep an eye on the property and let you know of any suspicious activity. From unfamiliar vehicles parked out front to strangers lurking around your home, they can call the police and report the behavior. Another option is to tell the police of your extended absence so if they happen to drive by and see any unfamiliar vehicles not registered to you parked in your driveway, they can explore further.
If you don’t have neighbors you trust, you can ask a family member or friend who lives further away to stop by every day or two to check the house, collect newspapers or grab the mail. A home that looks like no one is home is ripe for the picking. You may also want to stop newspapers, magazine subscriptions and mail so your mailbox or front stoop doesn’t accumulate junk. This is another sign that no one’s home.
Maintain the Landscape
More to that point, it’s important to maintain a look of livability. This isn’t as important if you’re just going away on vacation for a week, but if your home will be vacant for some time before the closing, you should either hire a landscaper to mow the lawn or do it yourself if you live close by. This will ensure a lived-in look that won’t signal neglect to would-be intruders.
Don’t Post on Socials
Many homeowners on vacation make the mistake of continuing to post status updates on social media. Posting photos of your vacation may be great for your close friends and family to see, but you never know who else is watching you. Many crimes are crimes of opportunity so if a friend of a friend of a friend on Facebook sees you’re in Paris for the next two weeks, they know they’ll be an empty house waiting for them.
Set timers for interior and exterior lights to go on when dusk falls. If a burglar is watching your home, they’ll notice that no lights come on when it’s dark, signaling no one’s at home. Don’t leave spare keys outside, either. The fake rock ruse is not fooling anyone. If you need to leave a key for real estate agents to show the house to buyers, make sure they put a lock box near the front door with a keypad-protected lock.
Invest in a Security System
Security systems backed by home automation software can allow you to check on the physical state of your home but also on its health. Certain apps like Sense can let you know if your electrical system is doing OK or if any issues are detected. Apps like Ring allow you to watch who comes to your front door when you’re not there. And of course, you could install ADT systems and sign up for their monitoring service so they can keep an eye on the whole property and alert emergency services if anything is amiss.
This is an important feature when you’re away for an extended period of time, as a fire or other situation could quickly get out of control and be devastating for home owners in transition.
Protection and safety are our top priorities here at Luke’s. When you hire us to move your belongings from place to another, we take great care to ensure your items are well cared for. Contact us today for a free quote on moving in and around Dallas at 817-752-9366.