-By Noel Chorachor
Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, vacation trips we go! Heigh-ho and more heigh-ho….
Remember the seven dwarfs whose home got an uninvited guest due to lack of home security while they were away? Lucky were they the intruder was a fine gal, not a criminal. But hey, we don’t live in a fairy tale, do we?
And speaking of being away, summer vacation trips are on people’s checklist this season. Going to national parks. Visiting relatives in another state. Traveling abroad. I mean, who would wanna miss being outdoors when Mr. Sun is shining high in the big blue sky?
Excited? I bet you are!
But you know who else is excited? Property criminals.
That’s right. Home intruders, burglars, trespassers, you name it, they can’t wait for you to leave home. And if you’re hasty and heedless, you could return from summer vacation to a home half-empty (or half-full if you’re into positive thinking).
You don’t think so?
Well, our friends at the FBI have something to say. Their Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s 2019 report tallied an estimated 6,925,677 property crimes throughout the country. That’s a rate of 2,110 per 100,000 inhabitants and unsettling 790 incidents every day! And if you’re concerned about money, about $15.8 billion have been lost.
Surely, you don’t wanna be a part of the statistics, do you?
Read on because herein you’ll discover proven-effective ways to keep your home secure while on summer vacation. On top of that, I’ll recommend some of the best security tools (prices and availability online may vary) you can utilize so you don’t waste time and money on marketing shenanigans.
So, let’s get into your secure home.
How to secure your home and keep intruders at bay
To have a secure home and property while enjoying your summer vacation, focus on 2 main goals ⸺ deterrence and concealment.
The goal here is to prevent criminals from targeting your home in the first place. And here’s how you go about it.
- Flood with light
As I always say, “Darkness attracts dark-minded people.” It conceals their movement and before you know it, they’re at your doorstep.
Hence, make sure your home’s surrounding area is well-lit where even a rat can’t escape the spotlight. Not to mention it will help your neighbors spot from a distance suspicious strangers roaming your home.
With that, one of the best security lights in the market today is the Aootek Outdoor Security Lights (ASIN: B07NQ4L1SB).
It’s waterproof and heatproof so you don’t have to worry about rain and sun exposure. With its rechargeable and solar-compatible 120 LED, it will always be up and running. And did I mention its smart mode where it can stay on all night and becomes brighter when movement is detected? Nifty!
- Install a security surveillance system
Another great way to secure your home is to have a surveillance system installed. It will be your eyes and ears around the clock even if you’re not physically present.
For this, look for a camera that is weatherproof, battery-powered (rechargeable and doesn’t rely on the fragile grid), and with sharp resolution (both picture and sound) even at night. And since you’ll be away from home, it should have an option to be viewed from miles away thru your phone or computer.
I tell you, very few products meet these criteria. And Arlo Pro 3 Spotlight Camera 2 Camera Security System (ASIN: B07YDXJQXX) is one of them. It’s also a team player so your Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, or Samsung SmartThings will be delighted to work with it.
Need something more budget-friendly? Then the Ring Stick Up Cam Solar HD Security Camera (ASIN: B07W7G23ZD) is worth considering.
- Make sure to lock all ingress points
This may sound obvious but you’ll be surprised how many people still fail to do so. Furthermore, secure other ingress points like garage doors, garden shed, or that secret tunnel leading to your underground bunker.
Install reliable locks like the Kwikset Juno Keyed Door Knob and Single Cylinder Deadbolt Combo Pack (ASIN: B00115UPSU) which is resistant to break-in tactics like picking and thrusting.
As for your windows, reinforce with Security Window Film (ASIN: B00FRLJU0I) to prevent glass panes from shattering when hammered.
- Fake them out
If you can’t afford a full-blown security system just yet, then use the power of deception. Put up a sign saying, “Smile, you’re on camera” using the DOCHO Smile You are on Camera Video Surveillance Sign (ASIN: B08H27S7CG) to trigger the intruder’s flight response.
And to make it more believable, install fake security cameras like the WALI Dummy CCTV Dome Camera with Flashing Red LED Light (ASIN: B075JR53K5).
Now let’s talk about concealing your absence ⸺ making it look like someone’s home when, in fact, everyone has gone sunbathing in Miami Beach. Because unless the motive is a home invasion, no burglar is stupid enough to break into a property when the owner is in (or seems to be).
- Put all incoming mail and newspaper on hold
Before leaving for vacation, ask mail and newspaper companies to temporarily suspend everything until you’re back. Expecting something important or you’ll be gone for months? Then set up a mail forwarding address.
- Leave your window coverings as they are
If intruders have been scouting your property for a while now, chances are they already know your routine. Thus, if you usually keep curtains or blinds half-shut or whatnot, leave some as they are.
That’s because changes like curtains pulled shut for weeks when they’re usually open is a tell-tale that nobody’s home. Just make sure your valuables are out of sight from the outside.
- Fake them out, again
Another sign burglars look for is the lack of visible activity. It could be that the inside is always dark even at night. Of course, leaving indoor lights on throughout your vacation will only make the electric company happy.
The solution? A TV LED simulator.
The FakeTV FTV-7-US Burglar Deterrent (ASIN: B00MBZOB7K) will simulate the light from a 27-inch LCD HDTV. Just put it somewhere the light output is visible from the outside. Plus, it will automatically activate at night.
- Have someone check in regularly
Sometimes, having a real person going in and out of the house is necessary to make that persistent and skeptical intruder go away. That said, have a friend or neighbor you trust stay over at your house now and then.
Everyone has gone to Hawaii? Consider hiring a house sitter.
- Don’t publicize your summer vacation plans
As much as you love to post real-time and impress the world with your summer honeymoon in Paris or a date with that smoking-hot celebrity, don’t.
In case you don’t already know, online stalking has never been easier thanks to social media. And here’s the thing… I don’t think you even know personally all your followers, do you?
So, stay private or share your summer vacation moments after you’ve returned.
Summer vacation ⸺ flights, camera, action!
Going on summer vacation doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your home possession. While the world is yours for the taking, remember that your home is also theirs for the taking if you give criminals the chance.
But now that you know (and execute) how to keep your home secure, your chance of being broken into goes down drastically. That being said, it’s time to enjoy your summer vacation with peace of mind knowing your home is secure.
So… Orlando’s magical Disney World or Maui’s exotic island and beaches?