When going on a long trip, the preparations you make aren’t focused solely on the adventures ahead of you. There are also the risks you put your house into while you’re away that need careful strategizing. After all, an empty house is always at risk of fire, frozen pipes, and malfunctions that could put everything in disarray while you’re on another continent. Probably among the worst and most common hazards you face, however, is robbery.
It makes you wonder how truck campers and other long-term vacationers manage to enjoy their trip and come home to an undisturbed house right after.
As with all effective safety and prevention methods, there is no shortcut or single purchase you can make to guarantee the best results. What you need is the right know-how to ensure that all your preparations make your home as theft-proof as possible.
Check Your Locks
The most obvious safety measure anybody can take is also the easiest one to mess up. This is because many owners settle for turning every possible lock without checking if these access points are as secure as they should be.
While you are going through all the windows, doors, pet doors, and other entryways in the house, check if they are structurally sound. Are the hinges in good condition? How about the doorknobs? If you haven’t already installed additional locks, opt for the deadbolt variety and have a professional do the job.
Some of the most vulnerable areas you have to reinforce include your garage doors, especially if they are automated. Garage door openers can be compromised by thieves who use scanners. You can prevent them from utilizing such gadgets to any degree of success by disconnecting your garage door opener’s receiver.
Store Valuables Away from the House
There are plenty of valuables inside your house that you don’t want to risk getting stolen. Even with security measures in place, there’s still a risk that thieves will manage to grab something and go before your neighbor spots them or the police arrive at the scene. It’s frightening to think that you’ll be forced to cut your vacation short and return to your home in Arizona because of a break-in. The worst part is that you’ll be left guessing your losses in the flight or drive home.
If you want to be extra cautious about your most prized possessions, check out storage companies. You can store your items with them long-term or short-term, depending on the demands of your trip. It’s a great way to keep yourself from fretting over your valuables throughout your month-long trip in Europe.
Take Advantage of Light Timers
A simple trick that frequent long-term vacationers use is making it look like there’s somebody home even when there isn’t. They can do this with the use of programmable light timers. There is a large assortment of this available in the market that will suit your household. Ideally, you’ll install one on each floor to ensure that all the lamps and other light sources will turn on. Program the timer to turn on half an hour before it gets dark in your area.
Since this changes per season, take note of what hour this happens at least a week before you leave for your vacation. Test them when you go out for dinner or catch the last full show of a new movie. Keep adjusting them until you’re satisfied with their performance.
Stop or Redirect Mails
You aren’t the only one with tricks up your sleeve. Thieves have ways of making sure that houses are truly unoccupied before they attempt a robbery, and it’s not what you might expect.
When scouting neighborhoods, they drop pamphlets into the mailboxes or under the door of likely targets. They’ll also check if there are other unattended mails anywhere on your property, as this is a strong indicator that nobody is home.
There are a couple of ways to work around this method. You can ask your neighbor to pick up your mail for you, or you can opt to stop the mails from coming altogether. Today, this is possible when you go paperless with your bills and subscriptions. However, if this isn’t your preference, you can always redirect your billing or subscription address to that of a friend or relative.
Every Property Has A Weakness
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for making your house theft-proof. Each property has its strengths and weaknesses, and you need to work with those if you want to ensure its security while you’re away.