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Vacation Security Tips

15 Easy Steps on How to Protect Your Home While on Vacation?

After all the months of saving up and planning, you are finally off for your dream destination. You should enjoy your much-deserved vacation, but homeowners also need to think about how to protect their homes while they’re away. It would be sad to come home from your travels to find your house burglarized.

Unfortunately, burglaries occur often in cities around Pennsylvania. Homeowners need to be on their guard, especially during the summer when robbers are more active. But how can you safeguard your home while you’re away over the holidays?

Key Takeaways:

  1. Homes without a security system or looking like empty houses are more prone to get break-ins.
  2. Proactive home security measures work best to keep your house safe while on vacation.
  3. Great Valley Lockshop specializes in securing safety in residential areas.

15 Easy Steps for Protecting Your Home While on Vacation

When you are leaving your house for a vacation, the best thing to do is to ensure that your security system is working. Have a checklist of the critical things that need to be checked before leaving.

Any vacation should be full of road trips, long days at the beach, seeing new sites, and visiting old friends. The last thing you want to worry about while relaxing with your family is home security.

Nowadays, keeping your house safe isn’t as simple as just locking the doors. Don’t leave for vacation without going through this checklist to protect your property from burglars while you’re gone.

Here are some essential home security tips when going on a vacation.

1. Lock All Entry Points

Although it may seem obvious, we have all had the heart-in-mouth experience of thinking we left a window or door unlocked. Making a checklist well before your trip is an easy approach to avoid this needless worry. Include things like “check each window” and “close the garden gate or garage door,” and make it a point to spend 15 minutes walking through your house and checking off each item.

Beyond locking the doors and windows, think about other points of entry that should be secured if you’ll be gone longer. Additional security measures may include installing deadbolts on doors and windows to make it more difficult for thieves to enter the home.

You might also consider switching out standard or less sturdy locks for high-security locks. Deadbolts provide twice the locking security and demand considerable force to open.

2. Make it Look Like Someone is Home

Burglars often watch homes for a while before attempting to break in. They want to know if anyone is home and find an adequate window of time when they can force the locks on the door or break a window and gain access to the house.

Deter thieves by putting some lights and TVs on timers. You can set them to turn on and off at different times during the night and days of the week. If you have smart home automation, you can program a schedule while you’re gone for the holidays.

protecting your home while on vacation

3. Keep the Property Tidy

Nothing is more alluring to a home burglar than a house that seems to be empty. Mail piling up in the mailbox or on the front porch, as well as a house that is dark at all times of the day, are indicators of this.

You don’t want to give the impression that nobody’s home. Before departing, pull weeds, trim the bushes, and cut back landscaping before you leave for vacation so that your property doesn’t look unkempt. This is also important because overgrown shrubs and trees can make for great hiding places for thieves trying to access your home.

You can also install outdoor security lights to help illuminate your yard and prevent burglars from hiding.

4. Install Security Cameras or an Alarm System

Many homeowners turn to security cameras and alarm systems for extra security. If you have a home security system, ensure it is set when you leave. You should also notify the home alarm company of your travel plans.

Security cameras are great tools for identifying any individual lurking around your property. In addition, using this system can help you watch your property in real-time.

You can also equip your doors with commercial door alarms to reinforce your security system.

5. Get Smart Locks

Consider installing smart locks, which allow you to monitor any activity at the entry points of the household from an integrated mobile app. With smart locks, you can allow temporary access at certain set times for cleaning services or pet sitters while you’re away.

You may take advantage of features like push alerts to your phone to notify you when the lock is used or if there is a disturbance at the door, even if you decide not to pair your smart lock with other technology. Additionally, the deadbolt can be locked and unlocked remotely, making it ideal for a friend to deliver an urgent item or check on the basement pipes during a hard freeze.

6. Consider Other Smart Devices

Some smart security systems also have built-in smart doorbell cameras, enabling you to view real-time video of what’s happening at your front door. A video doorbell lock can help you record images of individuals trying to break in and can be used to identify them.

Because thieves can easily break into a home through a garage door, rely on a smart garage door lock with a heavy-duty deadbolt to keep this entry point secure while you’re gone.

Door and window sensors, as well as sensors that detect the sound of breaking glass, can add an extra layer of security while you are away. Smart security devices offer real-time recording to help you detect any intrusion at all times.

7. Keep Your Valuables in a Safe

Avoid leaving anything valuable in plain sight inside the house. Lock jewelry, important documents, and other small items away in a combination safe.

For insurance purposes, in case your house is burglarized while you are away, keep a list of any particularly valuable things and include their serial number or a photo.

Get information on Where to Install a Safe in Your Home.

8. Hide Gifts and Packages

During the Christmas season, make sure gifts are kept out of sight of a possible burglar. Although it looks good to place nicely wrapped presents under the tree, doing so also serves as a burglar’s invitation. Try to avoid placing your gifts near windows or other viewing areas.

When there are packages left alone on the porch, thieves like to attack. To aid with preventing porch pirates, think about installing a doorbell camera. Giving delivery personnel specific directions on where to leave things is another wise option.

Consider renting a package locker or getting a safe drop box to keep on your porch if you anticipate receiving a lot of deliveries.

9. Hire Help or Entrust Your Home to a Friend

Some handy local service providers can help you keep your home looking lived in while you’re gone. For example, you could schedule lawn and garden care for the period that you will be away.

Having the grass cut, leaves raked, or snow shoveled are all smart ways to take care of your property even when you’re not there. Be sure these hired helpers access using a smart lock or entrusting them with spare house keys. Don’t try to hide a key around the home.

An alternative to this is asking a close friend to look after your house. The key is for a house sitter to be present in case any emergency occurs. Ensure that you only entrust your house to a reliable individual.

10. Enlist a Neighbor and Join the Neighborhood Watch Group

If you have reliable neighbors or friends nearby, ask them to help. Offer to swap favors for your neighbor. Ask if they can pick up the mail, water the plants, and take out the garbage cans while you’re on vacation.

Then, you can do the same when they’re out of town. If your neighbor parks their car in your driveway sometimes, it also creates the illusion of more activity at your home.

In general, building a strong relationship with neighbors is a great homeowner tip. It’s always helpful to have other people looking out for suspicious activity. Neighborhood watch networks add an extra level of security because they notify others when there is a possible problem in the area.

11. Don’t Post Your Travel Plans

Visiting family and traveling are exciting, and it’s hard not to announce your travel plans on social media, but you never know who might receive that information. To be on the safe side, share this information only with your friends and family when you talk to them.

Some ill-intentioned individuals can review your social media activity and strike when you are away.

Be sure to talk to your kids about not posting this information on social media as well. Then, when you return from the trip, feel free to share all the lovely pictures from your trip.

12. Call the Police

Here’s a little-known fact: a simple call to your local police department can provide another layer of security while you’re away. Many municipalities offer courtesy check-ups on properties upon request. Having the police make rounds in your area will help deter robbers. Plus, they will be quick to respond if suspicious activity is reported at a house they know should be empty.

13. Check Your Homeowner’s Insurance

Even if you make every effort to secure your home while away, there is still a chance that you could become a victim of crime. Since you may not have traveled for more than a year, double-check that your insurance is still valid and that you have the appropriate coverage.

You must ensure that you are insured for the full cost of replacing your possessions because each house insurance policy has a cap on the amount you can claim.

14. Pause All Mails and Deliveries

Before heading out on your vacation, try to alert delivery companies to delay your packages and mail. Deliveries piling up on your front door or mailbox is a telltale sign that no one is around.

Your house is more likely to be targeted by burglars if they see that no one is attending to your deliveries. You can either postpone deliveries or avoid making any delivery arrangements that will happen within your vacation time.

15. Unplug All Devices and Appliances

This advice is more for your safety against house emergencies. To avoid fires from short-circuiting appliances or overheating devices, make sure to unplug everything before leaving.

This tip also includes checking all potential sources of fires from being secured. Check if all wires are secured and your gas stoves are turned off.

Having smoke alarms also helps determine if an emergency is occurring at your place.

Why Secure Your Home Before Leaving for a Vacation?

When leaving your house for a vacation, there is always a looming anxiety that makes you wonder if your house is secured. Empty houses are the main targets of burglars. Your house is more likely to be targeted by burglars if they know that you will be out for an extended period of time.

In the U.S. alone, approximately 4,800 burglaries occur. It is only normal to worry about the security of your house as you keep all of your valuable items inside it.

In addition to burglaries, other unfortunate events can also happen when you leave your house, such as a fire, an appliance getting short-circuited, or damage due to the weather. You do not have any control over all of these and cannot address them as you are away.

As such, you always need to perform proactive measures to prevent any emergencies from occurring while you are on vacation.


How Do You Know if Your Home is Safe Before Leaving for a Vacation?

It is easy to forget key security details when you are very excited about your vacation. One mistake is all it takes for a burglar to invade your home while on vacation.

Before leaving your house, it pays to perform a triple check on your home security. Make a checklist of the things you need to verify.

Here are some ways you can verify the safety of your home before going on a vacation.

  1. Check if all window and back door locks are secured and working.
  2. Check all cameras and alarms to see if they are working.
  3. Secure all entry points from the garage to the front door.
  4. Verify if your valuables are in the safe or are hidden properly.
  5. All mail and deliveries must be on pause.
  6. Set up all timers for smart lights.
  7. Secure spare keys to a trusted neighbor or friend.
  8. Dispose of all trash before leaving.
  9. Check if all appliances are turned off or unplugged.
  10. Inform security companies or the neighborhood watch.

It is always safe to err on the side of caution when you want to secure your home. Take these precautionary measures and verify how secure your home is to maintain peace of mind while on vacation mode.

Extra Home Security Tips When Going on Vacation for Peace of Mind

Safeguarding your home doesn’t just have to do with protecting it from a break-in but potentially from the elements of Mother Nature as well.

Here are some extra steps for preparing your house for an extended vacation.

  • Ensure the basement’s sump pump is working (if applicable).
  • Unplug electronics to minimize the risk of an electrical fire or a power surge.
  • Keep your thermostat at a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit if you’re leaving in the winter to prevent your pipes from freezing.
  • Check with your homeowner’s insurance policy about coverage in case of a burglary.
  • Get a dog and a pet-friendly security system.
  • Make sure that your insurance is updated.
  • Switch to smart locks.
  • Hire a trusted house sitter.
  • Use cameras with remote access.

preparing house for extended vacation

Every home security tip you can get can save you from worrying constantly. Ensure your house is well-equipped with the necessary precautionary system and protect your valuables at home.

Increase Security Around Your Home

Find a locksmith near you to help boost security at your house. The experts at Great Valley Lockshop provide a range of residential services, including changing the locks, installing burglary-rated safes to protect valuables, and offering professional-quality products.

With the help of our experts, you can get your house evaluated, and we can suggest and install the best-fitting security system for you.

Call Great Valley Lockshop at (484) 324-2986 or request a free estimate with our easy online form.



Is your home safe when you go on vacation?

An empty house is never safe from burglars without a security system. The safety of your home while you’re on vacation depends on the security measures you’ve put in place and the precautions you’ve taken before leaving. While it’s impossible to eliminate all risks completely, taking proactive steps can greatly enhance the safety and security of your home while you’re away.

What is the best home security while on vacation?

The best home security system is usually composed of simple yet effective things, such as locking all windows, doors, and other entry points in your home. In addition, an added layer of security, such as installing surveillance cameras, is an effective deterrent for burglars.

Does leaving a light on at night deter burglars?

Yes. Leaving a light on at night can be an effective deterrent against burglars, especially if it gives the impression that someone is home.

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