Home Security – How to Defend Your Home When You’re Away

Simple Home Security Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Home From Burglars

By Mark J. Donovan

For many years I’ve owned a vacation home and I am fortunate enough to say that it has never been burglarized or vandalized. Knock on wood! I chock up my fortune to a good home security defense system that includes a home security alarm system and some plain old simple home security steps that I take to mitigate the odds of a burglary. To be honest, however, it’s been the help of my year round neighbors that live next to my vacation home who I believe have played the biggest role in keeping my home safe from vandals and would-be-burglars.

Summarized below are key home security steps that you can take to protect your home from theft and vandalism.

Get a House Sitter

The number one best step you can take to protect your home from burglars while you’re away is to hire a house sitter. Admittedly this can be an expensive endeavor, however it is truly the best home security step you can take. Burglars and vandals are much more likely to not break into a home that is occupied.

Ask Neighbors to Check on Your Home While Away

If hiring a house sitter is not feasible for you then ask one of your trusted neighbors to look in on your home while you’re gone. This is what all of the residents on the road of my vacation home do. The year round residents constantly keep their eyes open and literally walk all of the properties along the shore front each day to see that all is copasetic. Similarly, when we are up at our vacation home we check on the neighbors properties that are seasonal residents. Though we may not be able to prevent a robbery from happening, this very visible step reduces the chances of break-ins and we can at least mitigate any additional damage to our homes’ from rain, snow and freezing temperatures if our homes are indeed burglarized.

Stop the Mail and Newspapers

A sure sign to would-be-burglars that a house is unoccupied is an overflowing mailbox or a pile of newspapers lying on the driveway. Make sure to stop your mail and newspaper deliveries when you’re going to be away from your home for an extended period.

Install a Home Security Alarm System

Home security systems are much more affordable today than most people realize. You don’t have to buy the expensive home security system with the 24/7 call team service and associated monthly fees.

For a couple hundred dollars you can install your own home security system that can automatically call you, a neighbor, or the police, in the event an alarm condition goes off at your home while you’re away. For example we have a low cost Freeze alarm system in our vacation home that calls us when the temperature drops below a specific set point. It also calls us when there is a power outage condition, or if water on the floor or movement in the home is detected. This Freeze Alarm System (Control Products FA-D2 Deluxe Freeze Alarm) is easy to install and is very affordable.

If you do decide to hire a house sitter make sure they are aware of how to enable and disable your home’s home security system.

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Put Lights and Appliances on Timers When Away

Another inexpensive home security step you can take is to put a few of your home’s lights on timers when you’re away. Also consider putting your television or radio on a timer as well. Lastly, make sure to put lights on timers in more than one room of your house. These simple little home security steps can really cause a would-be-burglar to pass your home by.

Keep the Exterior Plants Watered

If you have exterior potted plants have a neighbor water them while you’re away. A good sign that a home has been unoccupied for several days is wilted plants sitting on the front foyer or on the back deck.

By taking these few precautionary home security steps you can dramatically mitigate the risk of your home being burglarized or vandalized while you’re away.

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