It’s summer. And you’re probably too busy planning next week’s vacation to worry about how you could be leading burglars right to your soon-to-be vacant home.
Unfortunately, it’s true. Many homeowners unintentionally attract thieves while they are on vacation.
Want to know how NOT to be one of them?
Here are 3 big mistakes to avoid in order to protect your home against burglary while you’re away.
Mistake #1: You’re sharing vacation plans with burglars
It’s understandable to want to blast your vacation plans all over social media. However, doing so can tip off thieves that your house and valuables are ready for the taking.
When you check in at an airport or post pictures of yourself on vacation far from home, you’re intentionally sharing with friends and family that your home is empty. Unfortunately, you could also (unintentionally) share that information with the wrong people.
This simple post just told everyone that your house is empty!
In fact, over 75% of convicted burglars admitted to using social media to find out when homeowners will be away from their home for long amounts of time.
- Don’t share personal information (i.e. home address) on social profiles
- Be aware of which apps share your location with others and turn those off
- Make sure your social media posts are only shared with close friends (Here are quick instructions on how to control who sees your posts)
- Wait until you’re home to post about your vacation
Mistake #2: You don’t tell your neighbors you’re leaving
If you don’t regularly alert your neighbors that you’re going on vacation, you’re missing out on an extremely reliable (and free!) home security system.
Think about it: who better to keep a close eye on your home while you’re away than a nearby, trusted neighbor?
Talk to your neighbors about watching your home while on vacation.
If your neighborhood already participates in Neighborhood Watch Programs, take advantage of them.
Other than keeping an eye on your home, neighbors can also make your home appear occupied by:
- Parking their car in your driveway
- Picking up your mail, papers and deliveries
- Keeping your lawn well maintained
- Rolling your trash cans out on trash day
Mistake #3: You’re letting burglars walk right in
The National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association estimates nearly 30% of all burglars enter through an unlocked front door or window.
Even the most advanced security system in the world can’t stop a burglar if you give them an open door.
Yes, it sounds like a stupid mistake, but you may be doing this without realizing.
Follow these tips to prevent uninvited guests while you’re away:
- Lock your garage door AND the door between your house and the garage
- Don’t hide your spare key outside your home. Over 30% of homeowners admit they do this but hiding a spare key under the welcome mat or flower pot won’t fool a burglar.
- Invest in a home automation system that allows you to lock your doors remotely in case you forget
Just 3 mistakes of many…
Unfortunately, there are many other ways that you can attract thieves while you’re enjoying your vacation.
Here are some additional mistakes you might be making:
- Forgetting to lock other entries to your home (windows, back gates, etc.)
- Keeping your lights off the entire time you’re away. Consider using a home automation system. It can create the illusion of someone being home by turning on and off your lights randomly.
- Leaving blinds open, allowing thieves to see that no one is home
- Not investing in reliable home security systems
Worried you might forget one of these before jetting off for vacation? Here’s a comprehensive checklist for securing your home while you’re away.