Do your holiday trips include daily worry sessions about your home? It’s only natural to be concerned that something could go wrong when you’re miles away from Pittsburgh. Although you may have never had an issue, you’ve probably heard awful stories about burglaries or extensive water damage from broken pipes. These five tips can help you protect your property and belongings the next time you take a vacation.
Update Your Security System
Today’s smartphone-compatible security systems let you see who’s at your door while you’re away and can provide real-time views of the interior and exterior of your home any time of the day or night. Smart home systems not only offer security features but also allow you to remotely lock or unlock doors and windows, adjust the thermostat, and turn on lights, televisions and sound systems. You’ll also receive alerts if the system detects moisture or smoke in your home.
Don’t Let Mail and Packages Pile Up
An overflowing mail box or stack of packages on your front porch will let the whole world (or least the people who drive down your street) know that you’re out of town. Ask a friend to pick up mail and packages, or place a hold request with the U.S. Postal Service. The post office will hold your mail for a minimum of three days and a maximum of 30 days. Mail delivery will start again on the day you specify, or you can pick up your mail at the post office. UPS and FedEX can also hold packages for you.
Take a Break from Social Media
Your friends and family may not be the only ones admiring the vacation photos you post online. Your social media posts make it easier for thieves to decide which homes they’ll target. It’s a good idea to wait until you’re back in Pittsburgh to post your selfies and scenic photos.
Use Your Safe
You may think that you have a creative hiding place for your valuables, but thieves are well aware of the places people stow their jewelry, cash and credit cards. Most of the burglars surveyed by TV station KGW in Portland, OR, noted that they started their search in the master bedroom. After looting the bedroom, they moved on to searching the toilet tank, freezer, stove, cereal boxes and book shelves. Placing anything of value in your safe before you leave can thwart burglars and leave them empty-handed.
Make Your Home Look Lived In
Most thieves don’t want to encounter irate homeowners when they break into homes. Make them think you’re at home by using your smart home system or timers to turn on and off lights, music and TVs. Burglars in the KGW survey said that they would bypass homes if they heard music or a TV blaring from inside.
Don’t program your smart home system to turn lights on or off at the same time every day. Real people generally don’t turn lights off precisely at 11 p.m. and back on at exactly 6 a.m. If a thief isn’t quite sure if you’re in town or not, a rigid schedule may tip him or her off.
Do you plan on remodeling your home soon? Safes and smart home and security systems can be easily added during the renovation process. Our design/build team can help you choose the best ways to protect your home. Contact us and let us know how we can help you.
Readers Digest: Best Home Security Systems According to Experts
KGW: We Asked 86 Burglars How They Broke Into Homes