From weekend ski trips to extended getaways in the Caribbean, a vacation is the perfect way to escape the everyday grind. But for burglars, an unattended home is considered paradise. Often times, it’s quite obvious that an entire household has disappeared for vacation. For example, the cars haven’t moved and the lights are always off. These are the signals that thieves look for when perusing the neighbourhood for a potential break-and-enter.
But there are ways to keep your home safe when on vacation. Below are some tips to scare away the burglars while you’re off enjoying a relaxing holiday!
Have a trusted neighbour pick up your mail
When envelopes and flyers are overflowing out of the mailbox, it’s a clear sign that no one has been home for an extended period of time. Ask your neighbour to kindly pick up the mail and hold it until your return. Your neighbour’s daily drop-by will also allow him/her to keep an eye on your home and check that nothing seems out of place.
Don’t inadvertently tip off criminals
In the age of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, many of us are in the habit of announcing our daily plans to the world. Although your posts about upcoming vacations are innocent, this info could get into the wrong hands. Would you announce to a crowd of strangers that your house will be empty for three weeks in September? If the answer is no, it’s probably best not to post it on a social media website. Often times, these websites can be viewed by public members who are not your “friends”.
Install an automatic light timer
These inexpensive devices are the best way to make it look like someone is at home when you’re on vacation. An automatic timer will turn your lights on and off during pre-set hours. For example, have your lights go on during supper time to make it look like the family is at home enjoying a meal.Or have your bedroom lamp flick on during the early morning hours to make it look as though someone is getting ready for work.
Invest in an alarm system with video capabilities
An alarm system is the best way to stop a burglar in their tracks. Apart from the standard siren and live two-way communication, an effective alarm will also consist of video capabilities. AlarmForce video solutions allow you to actually see what’s going on at home while you’re away. You can look for suspicious activity or check whether your cat-sitter is showing up on time. Our HD surveillance cameras require only a high-speed internet connection. That’s it! Installation is super quick. And AlarmForce will also provide free activation and warranty.
Keep vacation information vague
When having friendly chats with neighbourhood strangers, it’s easy to find yourself revealing seemingly innocent info. But keep details about your vacation (and your empty home!) vague when speaking to contractors, cab drivers, delivery people, etc. For example, if you’re taking a cab to the airport and the driver asks about your vacation -- casually mention that you have a friend/relative who will be house-sitting during your absence. You never know what type of people strangers are connected to. It’s better to be overly-cautious than to find out your home has been burglarised.
Remove your spare key
We all know that that ceramic frog and fake rock aren’t fooling anyone. Even if you’re convinced nobody knows of your spare key, remove it anyway.The first thing burglars do when they realise no one’s home is snoop around for this coveted key. They’ll check around the back patio, under the doormat, or in the shrubs. Don’t give thieves the satisfaction of easy access into your home.