No one ever really feels comfortable about leaving their home for an extended amount of time. Our entire life hinges around the safety of our home. With so much at risk, what should you do to make certain your home is safe while you are away?
The first consideration is to make certain all entry points are secured and in good repair. A loose hinge or window can easily become the ideal entry point for a skilled burglar. Taking an hour to check that all latches and locks are functional and in good working condition is always time well invested. Also, a second check the night before your departure is the perfect way to make certain all points have been secured. Many burglaries are crimes of opportunity. Forgetting to lock a window can be exactly the
Another great way to deter criminals is to have visible cameras on the outside of your home, and hidden cameras on the inside. There are a number of systems on the market that can notify you when a camera has detected motion in its view. The best of those systems will notify you via a cell phone push verification. These verifications can give you a jump on would be burglars even while you’re away from your home. Another great advantage to having cameras in place is the ability to see your property any time you choose. Piece of mind goes miles and can save you the insanity of wondering.
Another precaution that can be made is to make sure you have the local police and fire departments’ numbers (both emergency and non-emergency) with you. Many people who travel make the mistake of dialing 911. The number is regionalized. If you are traveling, you will most likely not get your local response when you dial. In the USA, you will still get help, but now they need to patch you through, and that could waste precious time in the response.
Also consider having someone house sit. If no one is available to stay there, or if you’re just not comfortable with the idea; having someone drive by and check on your property is always a good idea. Sometimes small problems go by unnoticed only to blossom into full blown disasters by the time you get home. Additionally, with a house sitter, it will be less attractive for someone to break in.
Using light timers is an excellent idea as well. If your lights are coming on and going off during the night, it gives the appearance someone is home and therefore makes someone casing your home think twice about breaking in just because your car is missing.
Cut back obscurant vegetation. Criminals typically look to break in where they are behind good amounts of cover. Thick and high vegetation is great for privacy, but when you’re away, it protects would be intruders. It’s often better to allow neighbors to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
If your camera system has remote view capabilities, make certain it’s up and working before you leave. Have your firmware, cell phone application, laptop software, and tablet applications up to date. Last thing you want is to lose your connectivity because you’re out of date.
Install motion activated lighting inside and outside your home. Last thing anyone up to mischief wants is to be highlighted in bright light. Police often attribute lighting to be the very best crime preventative. It also helps them if they have to respond to a call at your home.
Another great defense is to make your yard inhospitable. Planting thorny plants under windows is an old idea, and still works tremendous to this day. Another new idea is to have devices activated by your DVR to shoo off unwanted visitors. Some of these include audible warning systems (dog bark, door slam, etc), electronic sprinkler system pumps, alarm klaxons, blinking lights, and pretty much any other electronically actuated device.
In closure, the idea is to appear that you are not away at all, and to be a hard target to begin with. Many of your usual defenses will work great, as long as they are kept up while you are away. As always, being a hard target will deter most criminals at the start.