With summer now upon us and vacation season in full swing, it can be easy to forget about the importance of securing our homes amid all the activity. While we often think that something like a home invasion will never happen to us, the
FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics show that 72.4% of burglaries occur while no one is home, 65.1% of burglars know their victims, and homes without security systems are 300% more likely to be burglarized that those with them. That being said, her are some tips for keeping your home safe on vacation

What to do:

While there are some home safety basics to always do when traveling (i.e. lock all your doors, remove the spare key, turn off the coffee pot, etc.), there are a few powerful protective options you may not have thought of.

  1. If you don’t already have a home security system, look into getting one. Aside from alerting law enforcement if a break-in occurs, many home security systems now offer cameras that are easily accessible from an app on your smart phone. Some systems, like the one from Vivint, also offer the ability to lock and unlock your door, adjust your thermostat, turn lights off and on, and monitor for fire and glass shattering. Amazon’s Ring system is another great option that utilizes smart doorbells and security cameras with two-way audio and motion detection. The Ring device also integrates with Alexa and other smart devices for total home automation, even while you are away.
  2.  Keep things looking normal. For example, if you don’t normally have all your blinds closed, then leave some of them open. Blocking the view into your house can work in a burglar’s favor, allowing him or her privacy while they make off with your new TV and your grandma’s jewelry. Set outside lights on timers and do the same for an inside light or two, if possible. Stop your mail or have a neighbor stop by to check in so that you don’t have packages piling up on your door step. The less attention you can bring to the fact that no one is home, the better.
  3. Maybe most importantly according to an experienced law enforcement officer in Central Florida, be careful of your social media.”As tempting as it may be, don’t post about your vacation on social media until after you are back,” he said. “And be careful of what you are showing in your home in the background of pictures you share on social media,” he added. “Unless someone has physically been invited into your home, they don’t need to know about your 97-inch flat screen and your gaming systems.” As awful as it is to think that someone you know (even if only on social media) would do something like burglarize your home, remember that the vast majority of these crimes are committed by people who know their victims.

Once you have done all that you can to protect your home, go have some fun! While you can never completely prevent something bad from happening, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have done your part to keep your home safe.