How to Protect Your Home While on Vacation

Keep your home safe from burglars while you're on vacation.
by Updated June 4, 2011

When planning a vacation where you will be away from your home for a prolonged period of time, it's important to take certain measures to protect your home from attracting the attention of burglars. Even if your home isn't protected by a home security system like ADT, there are plenty of steps you can take to make sure that you come home to a house that has not been the victim of a burglary. Having a house sitter to watch over your house while your on a trip is one way to help keep your home safe from theft, but if thats not possible then you will want to follow these steps to make sure your home appears like its being lived-in, even while you're away on vacation.

  1. Have the mail and newspapers picked up daily by a friend or neighbor. If that's not possible, then make sure you call the post office and newspaper to arrange for the delivery to be suspended while you are away.
  2. If you're going to be away for more than five days, then you will want to have someone mow your lawn and take care of your yard for you.
  3. Use automatic timers in two separate rooms, to turn on and off lights at different times. You may also want to place a timer on a radio that turns on during the day, around 11:00 AM and turns off at around 5:30 PM. Remember, most burglaries occur during the day time.
  4. Park at least one vehicle in your driveway, instead of in your garage. This helps give the appearance that someone is home.  If you are having a friend or neighbor pickup your mail daily, you could also have them move your car every other day. Another option is to ask your neighbor to have them park their car in your driveway while you're away.
  5. Turn the volume down on your telephone ringers. An unanswered telephone can be a dead give-away that you're not home.
  6. Even if you don't have a real security system for your home, you can fake it by buying a home security alarm sign and stickers. Place the sign in the front of your house and place the stickers on windows, doors, or sliding glass doors that are in the back of your house where a burglar is more likely to target.
  7. Do not leave a spare key to your house hidden under a doormat or in any other obvious place where a thief can easily find it.
  8. Do not publicize your vacation plans in newspapers, on your answering machine, on a website (such as your blog, facebook, twitter), or even in a podcast. The more people who know you will be away on vacation, the greater chance you have that your house will be burglarized.
  9. Let a trusted friend or neighbor(s) know that you will be away so that they can keep an eye out for any suspicious activity at your home. You should also give them an itinerary of your plans and your cell phone number, so that you can be reached in an emergency. Leave a key with them if you want them to periodically check on your home to make sure everything is ok.
  10. Lastly, before you leave for vacation make sure that all the doors and windows to your house are shut and locked. Burglars often use open windows in the summer to get into homes by cutting the screen, so make sure your windows are shut. There's no sense in putting to use all the previous steps if you dont lock up your house and close your windows before you leave.

Now go enjoy your vacation, and stop worrying about your home. With these steps put into action, you will have drastically reduced the chances of your home being the target of a burglary.



1 Comment

anonymous by Alex on 7/24/2013
The number of home burglaries traditionally spike in the summer months. I think that light timers and Fake TV ( are excellent solutions to deter burglars. Also, playing anti-theft home occupancy sounds MP3 or a CD (sells on Amazon or at ) in home while away is a great way to scare burglar that someone is in.

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