Alarms of Berkshire County

Vacation Safety Tips for Your Home

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It’s finally here: your summer vacation! While there’s truly no place like home, you’re probably ready to run right out the door. But whether it’s a long weekend in the mountains or an even longer sojourn by the shore, you’ll want to return to your house just as you left it—which is why it’s important to have a plan for keeping your home safe while on vacation.

Check out our top vacation safety tips for your home below, and then enjoy every minute of your vacation!

Leave It to Your Security System

exterior of brick house in the Berkshires, MAThe first and most important of our home safety tips: while on vacation, your security system should still be working overtime! Before you leave, take a few minutes to walk around the house and check the placement of your surveillance cameras. Cameras should be positioned so that they are obvious to anyone approaching your home; trim any low-hanging branches that obscure them, if necessary. During this walk-through, you should also ensure that all components are in good working order and that you can access your video feeds via your security system app.

Contact Alarms of Berkshire County right away if you encounter any issues. Furthermore, if you use a professional monitoring service, you may want to notify us of when you will be away.

Secure the Premises

Of course, even with a comprehensive security system, you’ll still need to close and lock your doors and windows. Thieves will typically look for homes that can be entered quickly and easily, so any obstacles you put in their way can act as deterrents to theft. Ensure that your windows are both closed and locked, even on the second floor; otherwise, a burglar needs only to remove or cut a screen to enter your home. All entrances to the home should also be locked, including the door between your garage and the home.

Back patio sliders are particularly vulnerable, given that they are usually hidden from street view. In the summer especially, when families spend more time outside, the back door can be easily overlooked. If your family is constantly going in and out all season long, consider adding security window film to your sliding glass door. This prevents the glass from shattering onto the floor upon impact, and thicker films can also make the glass more difficult to break. During vacations and at night, you can bolster the door’s security by placing a wooden dowel in the bottom track, which prevents the door from opening if the lock is compromised.

While you’re away, you should also remove any spare keys that may be hidden outside. No matter how great you think your hiding place is, thieves are skilled at finding them. If someone will be coming by to feed your pets or water plants, give them the spare key directly instead.

Keep Up Appearances

Remember, thieves are less likely to target your house if they think someone is home, or if it’s difficult to tell whether it’s occupied. With this in mind:

  • Use your alarm system to set up an automatic schedule for your lights, randomizing the times they turn on and off, if possible. You could also include the television and/or radio on this schedule as well.
  • Ask your pet sitter or a trusted neighbor to take in your mail during your vacation. An overstuffed mailbox and a driveway littered with newspapers are sure signs that your house is empty.
  • Leave a car in the driveway. This could be your spouse’s car, or your own car if you’ve arranged for a ride to the airport; you might also ask a neighbor to park in your driveway. In any case, make sure that this vehicle is locked!
  • If you’ll be gone for several weeks, you may want to schedule a lawn service to keep the landscaping from becoming unkempt, which suggests that your home is empty and makes it easier for thieves to hide while on your property.

Don’t Spread the News

Finally, resist the urge to share your vacation plans on social media. Don’t post about packing or hitting the road, and don’t share photos from your vacation until you’re back at home. Even with restrictive privacy settings in place, there’s no way of knowing who is accessing your friends’ accounts and seeing your posts. Broadcasting your travel plans also announces when your home will be unattended, leaving you vulnerable if that information falls into the wrong hands.