I just read an article in Realty Times that shares 10 tips to keep your home safe while on vacation. Before you leave for that week or month in paradise, make sure you take care of the following:
- Leave the lights on?- “There are differing opinions on whether or not you should leave your lights on the entire time you’re on vacation,” said A Secure Life. “If you leave your lights on the whole time you’re gone, it wastes a lot of electricity and raises your electric bill. Also, having lights on 24/7 can look just as suspicious as having them off. Electronic timers may be helpful. The danger here is that if someone was really intent on robbing you, they will likely be watching the house for a period of time. If they notice that the lights go on at exactly 7:05pm and off at exactly 10:35pm each night, it would not take a genius to figure out they are on a timer.”
- Hold your mail and stop your newspaper- “According to a US Postal Service official, mail theft is on the rise, with the objective of getting access to financial information to exploit for personal gain,” said ABC 10. A stack of newspapers at your front door will also signal crooks that no one’s home.
- Hire a dog sitter or close the doggy door- One of the top obstacles to home break-ins is a barking dog. Rover is a great place to find a qualified dog sitter who can stay with your pooches and watch your house at the same time. If you do board your dogs, be sure to lock up your doggy door while you’re gone. You might also want to place a chair or a plant in front of it for extra protection.
- Tell Your Neighbors- Make sure your neighbors know the dates of your trip so they can keep an eye out for you. Also, leave your house key with a trusted neighbor for emergencies and tell them how to get in touch with you.
- Remove spare keys- If you leave a key hidden under the mat or in the planter next to the front door, security experts advise you to remove it. Thieves are looking for an easy way in and a hidden key can be the invitation they’re looking for.
- Lock your gates- If you regularly keep the gate unlocked to give access to gardeners or other family members, consider locking it while you’re away. Forgoing landscaping in your backyard for a week won’t hurt, and the extra security measure will help you feel at ease.
- Cancel automatic deliveries- If you get regular deliveries of things like coffee, office supplies or diapers, be sure to call and cancel while you’re gone. Packages piling up at your front door can invite theft of your home, and the stuff you ordered.
- Wipe away your fingerprints- For those who have a front door lock that uses a code instead of a key, be sure to wipe away any fingerprints. There have been recent cases in which crooks used fingerprint patterns on the touchpad to determine the code and break in. Get into a habit of wiping the keypad down every day to minimize the risk
- Get a security system- Nothing new about this, but a security system continues to be the No. 1 deterrent to break-ins. PC Mag’s featured smart security system is Vivint Smart Home, which costs just $49. “Bottom Line: The Vivint Smart Home system offers 24/7 security monitoring and remote control of your door locks, cameras, heating system, and features the best video doorbell solution we’ve tested,” they said.
- Get a security camera- In addition to a security system, security cameras can give you peace of mind. PC Mag recommends two starter models: The iControl Networks Piper nv or the Nest Cam Outdoor. “These cameras have built-in sensors that track motion, and will send push notifications when movement is detected (the Piper nv will also send notifications when humidity and temperature thresholds are exceeded),” they said. “Both are solid, cost-saving alternatives to full-on security systems.”
By following these 10 tips to keep your home safe while on vacation, you can relax and concentrate on having fun! Of course, the optimum way to ensure your home is always safe is by having a sophisticated whole-house security system like those in many of my current listings. So, if you’re thinking about purchasing a new security system (with a home attached), give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com.