Ah, summer. The season of bathing suits, beach time, barbecues and … burglaries. Yes, burglaries. Turns out, summertime isn’t all about hot dogs and Slip N Slides – it’s also the favorite season of burglars! The majority of home break-ins occur during July and August, when many families are hundreds of miles from home enjoying piña coladas and summer reads on the sand. So if you’re planning a getaway this year, here are ten things you can do to make sure your home (and everything in it) is safe and sound while you’re away.
1. Don’t tell Facebook
In a recent study, over 75% of convicted burglars said they strongly believe current thieves use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to target properties, so if you’re planning a getaway, don’t share the dates online and be sure to switch off location services on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s also a good idea to hold off on posting vacation photos until you’re back at home, but if you simply can’t wait be sure you adjust your social media settings so only your close friends can see your updates.
2. Use your neighbors
If you’re lucky enough to have neighbors you trust, tell them when you’ll be out of town and ask them to keep an eye on your place while you’re gone. If they’re willing to go the extra mile, ask them to pick up your mail, put your trashcans out on trash day and park in your driveway. By giving the impression that someone is home, you can further decrease the chance of your house becoming a target.
3. Put on a light show
On that note, another great way to make it look like you’re home is to set your lights on a timer. If you’re feeling really fancy, you could even plug a few lamps – and maybe even a radio – into a Wi-Fi Smart Plug so you can set on/off schedules and control them from anywhere right from your mobile device.
4. Tidy up the yard
The goal with this tip is to make it tough for burglars to hide in your yard while they’re attempting to gain entry into your home. Trim any trees or bushes that would provide cover for a burglar and cut any branches that might provide access to second story windows or skylights. Also, consider incorporating gravel into your landscape so it’s easy to hear anyone lurking outside.
5. Post a sign
Burglars take things like alarm signs and surveillance equipment into consideration when selecting a target, so make sure they know your home is protected to deter them from attempting a break-in. Prominently display neighborhood watch and alarm company signage around your house and install outdoor Wi-Fi Cameras in visible locations.
6. Lock the doors and windows
According to the Electronic Security Association, burglars on average will spend no more than 60 seconds trying to defeat locks. In fact, one third of burglaries require no forcible entry at all! So while this next tip may seem like an obvious one: lock your windows and doors. Double check them. Triple check them. And don’t forget second story windows and the garage door! Lock your windows and doors.
7. Set up motion detectors
In the event that a burglar does break into your home, be sure to have security measures in place so you can respond appropriately. One great idea is to install a Wi-Fi Motion Sensor so you receive a text alert when motion is detected in your home.
8. Install Wi-Fi cameras
And last, but certainly not least, one of the best things you can do to protect your home while you’re away is to place Wi-Fi Cameras throughout your house so you can view a live feed of any suspicious activity from anywhere, anytime right on your mobile device. They’re easy to set up and don’t require any monthly fees.
Whether you’re planning a month-long European vacation or a quick weekend getaway, it’s important to take the time to secure your home so it’s safe and sound while you’re away. With these 8 tips, you’ll be able to enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your home is protected until you return.