9 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Protect Your Home from Burglars During a Vacation

Debbie Warford
Debbie Warford
Published on May 14, 2021

9 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Protect Your Home from Burglars During a Vacation

Planning for a long vacation? Travelling is exciting but do you ever worry about burglars searching your home while you’re away?

To maximize your relaxation, make sure you don’t leave your house unsecured.

Here are 9 easy ways you can protect your home from burglars and really be carefree while you’re away!

1. Ask for help from neighbors and friends

Your neighbors and friends are your allies when it comes to protecting your home from burglars. Never hesitate to let them know that you’ll be away and you need help in keeping an eye on your home (hopefully, you don’t have sketchy neighbors, if so, it might be time to look for a new neighborhood!).

Since you don’t want potential burglars to know that your house is empty! Ask your neighbors to roll garbage cans back from the road, remove flyers placed in front of your door, and check for unexpected package deliveries. Ask a friend to feed your dog at home instead of taking them to a kennel or with you so that they can keep an eye on things. If you normally park your car on the driveway, you can even ask your neighbors to park there while you’re away.

I’ve found if we bake them a treat or promise to return the favor, they’re happy to help!

2. Keep your lawn maintained

Another way for opportunistic thieves to know that nobody’s home is an unmaintained lawn or garden. If you’ll be away for a long time, hire someone to cut the grass for you. Or if you leave in winter, ask a friend or neighbor to remove the snow from your walkways.

3. Secure your windows, doors, and garage

Before you leave home, make sure that your entryways are secured well. Check if the exterior doors have strong door frames and hinges with a high-quality door lock installed. Burglar-proof your windows by installing window bars to keep them from being opened from the outside.

Sliding doors are particularly vulnerable.  Check out this quick guide for securing them with a simple PVC pipe:

I personally wouldn’t bother with the handle, but you can decide if it makes sense for you.

And finally, make sure that the garage is secured. Most burglars find the garage as an easy entry-point to access your home. The garage is also a place where they can find your expensive tools and use them to break into your home.

We like putting a lock on the garage door that’s only used when we leave. It takes about 5 seconds to put in place and prevents burglars from exploiting your emergency release to break in from the outside.

4. Put all your valuables in a high-quality safe

Hopefully, you never leave your valuables such as guns, jewelries, and documents unprotected. I like a high-quality safe that is waterproof, fire-resistant, and durable enough from any forms of attacks and bolted to the floor.  Before you leave, be sure to use it and lock away your valuables!

5. Install motion-activated lights

Another good way to keep opportunistic burglars away is to create an illusion that someone is home by turning on your lights at night. You can leave the interior and exterior lights on, or better yet, use a timer to control your light switches remotely. Personally, I like lights that turn on and off and have an element of surprise for an unsuspecting burglar.  They’re more likely to catch your neighbor’s attention too!  I’d suggest installing motion-activated lights which also save energy.

6. Stop receiving mail

Mail piled in your mail box or front door is a tip-off for thieves that nobody’s home. Ask your neighbors or house-sitter to collect your mail while you’re not around. Or request your mail couriers (or subscription boxes and newspapers) to pause your mail delivery at usps.com.

7. Make your home look occupied

Aside from turning your lights on, you can also turn your TV or radio on remotely to make your house look occupied. You can do this by setting up a 7-day timer or controllable power switches to randomly turn your lights on while you’re away.

8. Never post your trips on social media

Letting random people know that you’re on a long vacation through social media should be the last thing that you do. Never advertise online that your house will be empty for a few days or weeks.

You can always share your pictures when you get back, and it’s just as fun then!

9. Get your home security system ready

Before you leave, make sure that your home security system is set to away when you leave. Double check your cameras, smart devices, and sensors to ensure that they are working properly.

If your home security system is professionally monitored, it’s a good idea to inform the company that you’ll be on a trip.

If you don’t have a security system, you can always put fake signs outside to discourage would-be intruders.

Before you go…

Preparing your home for a long vacation should not be more stressful than your day job!  With a little advanced planning, you can make your home much more secure and really leave your worries behind.

We hope you found these home security tips helpful. If so, please pay it forward by sharing this post with your friends!

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