Keeping your family safe when you’re at or near your home is one thing. But keeping your home secure when you’re away from it is a whole nother matter. From going on a business trip to a family vacation, there are many reasons why you may need to leave your home for an extended period of time.
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that property crime—particularly of empty homes—is something we need to be mindful of. If you think that it could never happen to you, consider that there were 7.2 million reported cases of property crime in the U.S. in 2018 alone. It’s worth noting that the actual number of incidents is likely to be far higher, given that some people choose not to report such incidents to the police.
Of course, this isn’t to say that you should never leave the house again! It just means that it pays to be “better safe than sorry.” If you’re after some useful precautionary measures that you can implement to secure your home when you’re away, keep reading.
Install a Home Security System
One of the best defenses you can take to prevent property crime is to install a comprehensive home security system and burglar alarms. We already discussed the importance of doing so in our article about home safety tips, so we won’t go into too much detail here.
The key thing to remember is that it’s well worth the time, effort, and expense of doing so, as in addition to helping prevent potential break ins, a home security system and burglar alarms can also provide invaluable footage of an incident, should the worst happen.
Let Your Neighbors Know
The simplest home security measures can sometimes be among the most effective. Case in point: telling your neighbors whenever you need to be away from home. “Alerting your neighbors to the fact that you’ll be away from home offers you the peace of mind that someone will be looking out for your best interests,” says Angela Stringfellow from Family Enthusiast.
“Of course, it’s vital to install a home security system. But having a neighbor keep an eye out for anything fishy could spell the difference between a potential break in and an actual one.”
To this end, Stringfellow advises informing your neighbor of key details such as:
- How long you’ll be gone for
- Where you’ll be going
- Your best contact number
- How to work the alarms
- What things to watch for
- What they should do if they suspect something is amiss
“Be sure that they’re aware of what your precise situation will be while you’re gone. For example, if you’ve arranged for someone to check in on your house, be sure to tell them. You don’t want your neighbor accidentally mistaking them for a burglar!”
Secure Your Car
If you ever need to leave your car at home while you’re away, this tip is for you. After all, vehicle theft is no laughing matter. The FBI estimates that nearly 773,139 motor vehicle thefts were recorded and almost $6 billion was lost to this type of crime in 2017.
So if you don’t want your car to become a statistic, it’s advisable to start using a high-tech car alarm system. There are many benefits to doing so. For starters, these systems are specifically designed to protect your car from being stolen or broken into. Even if your car already comes with a solid alarm system, it’s wise to double up on protection given what’s at stake.
Another key benefit is that many insurance companies are willing to offer you a lower rate if your vehicle has an alarm system installed. One final benefit is that using a car alarm system will give you the peace of mind that your car will be secure, even when you’re thousands of miles away from it.
Minimize the Signs That You’re Away from Home
The fact of the matter is that the more obvious it is that you’re away from home, the greater the likelihood that your home and/or car will become the target by burglars. So it’s logical, then, to minimize the signs that you’re away.
Fortunately, doing so couldn’t be easier. Here are a few tips we suggest that you put into action next time you have a trip of any kind planned:
- Clear your mailbox before you leave
- Ask your neighbor or a friend to collect your mail
- Mow your lawn
- Keep a few lights on in your house
- Don’t advertise your trip on social media
- Don’t make it obvious that you’re going away on your answering machine message