Whether you’re taking advantage of “vacation season” in the summer or trying to escape our cold Baltimore winters, home security is always going to be a concern when you go out of town for any period of time. If it’s a vacation that is taking you away from home then you won’t want to waste any of it by worrying about the safety of your home and if it’s a business trip then you likely won’t have time to worry about things back in Baltimore. There are a lot of simple things that can be done to put your mind at ease while away from home but here are three of the best.
1. Talk with Neighbors
Neighborhoods are safest when all the members of the community work together as a team to protect each other’s homes. You should be careful not to advertise too much (don’t announce you’ll be out of town on social networks or post pictures until you get back, for example) because if knowledge of an empty home gets to the wrong ears your home becomes a sitting duck for burglars. Telling trusted neighbors, however, is a great idea because they’ll be able to keep an eye on your home while you’re away and can report any suspicious activity. If you don’t want to put temporary stops on mail or newspaper services then you should ask a neighbor to collect these for you while you are gone because piles of mail or newspaper are dead giveaways that you are out of town and burglars will key on that.
2. Remove Hidden House Keys
Many people hide spare keys somewhere on the exterior of their homes or in the immediate yard. Be careful not to hide the key in an obvious location and remove all keys from their hiding spots before going out of town. If you are worried about the need for someone to gain access to your home while you are away then you might consider leaving a spare key with a trusted neighbor so that access to the home is still a possibility even while you are away.
3. Keep Exterior Clean
Most home robberies are not personal attacks, which means that they are based primarily on what a burglar can observe from the outside of the home. The appearance of your home can either invite or deter burglars based on a few very simple things. Homes that are well maintained (regardless of the size of the home) are less likely to be targeted because the assumption is that the homeowner takes care of their property. It is especially important to keep primary access points such as doors and windows clear because overgrown shrubs or trees at those points can provide cover for burglars when attempting to break in. It is important to maintain your yard immediately before leaving on vacation because an overgrown lawn or un-weeded garden are indicators that nobody has been home for some time. If you will be out of town for a period longer than a week or two then it is a good idea to hire a professional service or pay a trusted neighbor to maintain your yard while you are away.
David Glenn is a home improvement expert from Baltimore that frelance writes for Vivint. He occasionally freelance writes about home automation and making your home more green.
Photo Credit: Denise Mattox