16 Tips for Keeping Your Home Secure While You’re Away

Whether you’re planning a summer vacation, heading south for the winter, or just taking a weekend trip, it's essential to take precautions to secure your home while you're away. Here are 16 tips to help keep your home safe while you are elsewhere.

  1. Keep a light on - Turn off most of your lights but keep one or more lamps on for ambiance. This will make it look like someone is home and less like an empty home that is just waiting for a burglar to strike.
  2. Turn off appliances – Unplugging or turning off appliances saves energy and eliminates the possibility of breakdowns during your absence.
  3. Activate security cameras – Make sure security cameras are activated and operating properly to provide livestream footage of your home.
  4. Arm security systems - Ensure your home security system is armed and activated when leaving.
  5. Pause mail deliveries – Pause all mail delivery until you return so that a pile-up of mail doesn’t signal your absence.
  6. Set a few timers – Variable timers can be purchased at your local hardware store that will turn on/off lights randomly to make the home appear occupied.
  7. Keep the grass mowed – Keeping the grass mowed while you are away will help prevent others from noticing your absence.
  8. Leave a car in the driveway – If you are comfortable leaving a vehicle out in the elements, leaving a car in the driveway could deter would-be thieves.
  9. Stay off social media – At least keep your travel plans offline before and while you are gone. Potential thieves check social media for their next opportunity.
  10. Lock up valuables – Strategically hide any valuables you won’t be taking with you. Ensure your home security system is armed and activated when leaving.
  11. Keep curtains open – It may be tempting to shutter all your windows, but keep curtains open in the living areas to make the home appear occupied.
  12. Shut off water – Turning off your water will prevent possible leaking and burst pipes for homeowners in colder climates.
  13. Install motion sensors – A bright, motion-activated light that can illuminate a broad area is a great deterrent against theft.
  14. Disconnect the garage door – Unplugging your garage door can prevent thieves with rolling code technology from opening your garage and entering your home.
  15. Enlist your neighbors – Let the neighbors you trust know you will be away, and ask them to check on your home periodically.
  16. Remove spare key – Remove any hidden spare keys from the premises to keep people from getting access to your home.

Millions of people take to the road and skies to explore the world. But unfortunately, many unprepared homeowners will come home to a disaster. To ensure your home is protected while you're away, follow these 16 tips and return to a home in the same condition it was when you left.

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