How to Make Sure Your Home is Safe Even When You’re not Home
With summer kicking off to a great start, vacation season has begun. With vacations on the rise, so are home burglaries. June is home safety month, coupled with summer being at the peak of burglary season, there are a few things to know on how to keep your home and your family safe all summer long.
Burglars use vacations as the perfect opportunity to break into people’s homes; and with summer being at the height of vacation season, the burglaries rise as well. Luckily, there are some pretty easy ways to help keep your home and loved ones safe. EHS Today cautions to “be aware of what’s happening in the neighborhood.” Advising the use of “apps like the McGruff Mobile to stay up-to-date regarding home and vehicle burglaries near your home.” Utilize caution when entering and exiting your home to ensure that no one has followed you and make sure to be aware of any strangers that keep appearing near your home, but don’t seem to know any of your neighbors.
Protecting Your Home, Outside and Abroad
When preparing to go on vacation, don’t broadcast your plans all over social media. EHS Today states that you should “wait to post photos until after you return from your trip.” This is because you don’t want to “advertise to potential criminals that your house will be empty,” according to AHF Homes. Have a neighbor whom you trust look after your home while you’re gone and “collect your newspaper and mail” (Securitychoice.com) so that it doesn’t pile up, notifying any potential thieves that your home is unoccupied.
Don’t leave valuables such as bikes or spare keys outside as this invites the wandering eye who may be intrigued as to what else you may have in your home. Spare keys will allow easy access to your home and criminals will often know where all the best hiding spots are and will likely locate the key. Safewise.com suggests using “a dowel to secure the window while the unit is in place, and to be sure to remove the unit when you go on vacation.” Once removing your window unit, make sure to securely lock the window and test it afterward by pushing up to ensure it has locked properly. Go throughout your entire house and ensure that all windows and sliding glass doors are locked.
Your Home’s Outer Defenses
Window units and garages are other weak points in your home’s defenses. Many people feel safe leaving their garage open, but with it being a weak point in your home’s outer security, it should not be left open to the public. According to hub.realtor.com, “your garage offers direct access to your home. Be sure to close it after entering and exiting, and keep it closed while you’re home.” This will prevent any unwanted visitors from entering your home or from stealing any valuables you may store in your garage. It will also eliminate any potentially unwanted guests such as rodents or other wildlife. To add an extra layer of security, lock the door in which you enter your house from your garage to ensure that no one has free access to your home, should you leave your garage open by mistake.
Another simple way to increase home safety and to prevent any property damage or personal injury is to install a home security unit and cameras. “A security camera can help alleviate some stress by providing you with an extra set of eyes” (protectyourhome.com) and will allow you the ease of checking on your property while away as well as recording any suspicious activity.
Finally, make sure to do a general check up on your property, most of which should be done during your annual spring home maintenance. Making home safety and regular inspections a priority, you can prevent possible damage to your property and family. Protectyourhome.com says to “inspect all points of entry [to] make sure all door locks are functioning properly and all windows latch correctly. Repair any damaged or broken latches.” They continue to advise checking all lighting to ensure motion lights are functioning the way they should. This will deter any criminals from roaming your property because they will fear being detected by a light or other motion activated equipment. You can also set your lights, both inside and out, on a timer to create the allusion that your home is occupied. They also urge to keep a well-maintained yard to ensure the appearance that someone is home and to provide a more direct line of sight to the inside of your home by maintaining bushes and shrubs.
Home safety is something that should be exercised year-round to maintain your family’s safety as well as your home’s health and property value. It doesn’t have to be a hard or even a time consuming process to ensure your home’s safety while you are traveling, but by doing a few of the tips listed, you can also increase your home’s curb appeal and market value by maintaining your house’s outward appearance and ensuring all locks and lights are always functioning properly.