The holiday season is prime time for thieves and burglars to break into your home. Experienced burglars know when the best time is to strike and how to pick the perfect home. Going away on holidays can leave your home vulnerable to attacks; however, with reliable safety measures in place, you can make sure your home is secure even while you are away on holidays.
Holiday homes too are at risk as they are used only during the holiday season and are locked up for the rest of the year.
The following security tips can be used for when you leave your home for the holidays and also to protect your holiday home when it is locked up for most of the year:
Holiday home safety tips
- Start planning and incorporating safety features several weeks before you go off on your holiday.
- Do not reveal your holiday plans online – this is a sure way of attracting the attention of burglars and thieves.
- Cancel all deliveries to ensure no delivery agents come to your home while you are away.
- Make sure a reliable neighbor knows when you are leaving for your holidays and when you are expected to return. If there are changes in your plans, let them know about the new plans.
- Do not leave house keys under the front door mat or in a pot. Leave them with a reliable neighbor.
- Do a security walk-through around your house to ensure there are no security loopholes.
- Organize for a home security professional to thoroughly inspect your home for possible loopholes.
There are special areas and features of your home that need extra protection. These include all entry/exit points such as doors, potential entry/exit points such as windows, and indoor and outdoor areas that are big giveaways that your house is not lived in.
Security tips for outdoor spaces
When on holidays, the way your home looks from the outside can alert burglars that you are not at home. Unkept bushes and overgrown grass, and even driveways that have not been shoveled can be inviting to thieves.
- Ensure that your home/holiday home always has a lived-in look. Get reliable neighbors to collect your newspapers and your mail every day to trick burglars into thinking there is someone at home.
- Request neighbors to keep some garbage out on garbage day and bring in the bins as well.
- Request your neighbor to park their car in your driveway.
- Ensure the driveway is shoveled during the winter months, and lawns are well-maintained during the summer.
- If you have a neighborhood watch program, make sure to let them know you will be away so that they can keep an eye on your home/holiday home.
- Do not leave valuable pieces of jewelry at home. Small valuable items must be locked away in a safety deposit box.
- Document the valuable items that you will be leaving back at home. The list must include jewelry, antiques, documents, and even smart devices.
- Take pictures of your valuables and artwork that are hard to identify, so you can provide proof of ownership in case there is a burglary.
- Take out an insurance policy for all valuable articles in your holiday home.
- Use a deadbolt lock for all doors; however, this must also be reinforced with added security measures such as strong and sturdy door frames.
- Doors that have a glass pane on them are easy to smash; so, they must have burglar-resistant glazing.
- Hinges must be modified so that they are not exposed.
- Block all oversized dog/cat doors.
- Securely lock all sliding doors.
- Secure all windows with burglar-resistant glazing.
- Pay special attention to the basement and ground floor windows and ensure they are locked.
- Secure all windows with pins, nails, or other reliable latching devices.
- Make sure screws on windows are not accessible from the outside.
- Make sure the lights are on at night. Smart home security systems feature settings that allow you to turn on lights remotely.
- Ensure that external lighting brightens all the entry points and dark areas surrounding your home.
- Lights that are hooked up with motion sensors can deter thieves from breaking in.
- Interior lights on timers can give a lived-in look.
- Consider installing CCTV, burglar alarms, and/or door entry controls.
- Integrate your home alarm system with the neighborhood alarm system.
- Spray alarm sensors to prevent false alarms from being set off.
- Ensure alarms are set, and all codes are left with a trusted neighbor in case of emergency.
Garages and sheds
- Lock the garage and shed doors. Ensure all tools and ladders are locked in.
- Garage doors that lead directly to the house must be locked securely from inside the house.
Smart home security systems for holiday homes and residential homes
Modern smart home security systems help homeowners and holiday homeowners to keep an eye on their homes and holiday homes and ensure that it has a lived-in look even when they are away. Consider implementing a smart home security system to keep an eye on your home/holiday home when you are away. A smart home security system will allow you to:
- View live CCTV footage of your home from anywhere in the world.
- Activate/deactivate alarm systems.
- Switch lights on/off in your home.
- Change all alarm codes remotely, and deactivate entry fobs.
- Receive alerts if your alarm goes off.
Further protect your home, see Burglar Proofing Your Home – 5 Tips To Consider For Protection.