5 Things You Should Always Do to Keep Your Home Safe Before You Go on Vacation

You may not be there to watch over your home, but you can take steps to protect it while you’re away.

Blue front door with key in lock
Photo: Ian Nolan/Getty Images

For many, summer is the season of travel, full of weekend trips to the lake or beach, weeklong vacations to destinations across the country, road-trips, and more. While you're out of town relaxing, though, your house sits empty: a potential target for break-ins and robberies.

It's a frightening prospect, but the best way to keep your home secure (and preserve your peace of mind) is to be prepared. To help everyone start the summer off right, experts from home security company Blink (by Amazon) shared five things anyone can do (for free!) to ward off unwelcome houseguests.

1. Don't just lock sliding doors.

Lock them, of course, but also reinforce the base of the doors (and any sliding windows) with a broom, yardstick, or other block.

2. Ask a neighbor to pick up mail and packages.

An overflowing mailbox or package-littered front porch is a clear sign no one's at home. Ask someone you trust to pick up and hold your mail and packages until you return.

3. Make it look like someone is at home.

Most burglars are unlikely to break into an occupied home. Set timers to turn your lights on and off throughout the day and night—or leave one or two prominent lights on when you go—and leave a car parked in a driveway to make it seem as though someone is inside.

4. Avoid broadcasting your absence.

Yes, you may want to post about your amazing vacation on social media, but (especially if you're gone for an extended period of time) you're also telling potential trespassers exactly when your home will be empty. Try to resist posting until you return.

5. Check doors and windows.

Check out-of-the-way windows and doors before you leave. Someone may have opened an upstairs window and forgotten to lock it behind them months ago; checking all the entry points to your home before you leave will give you peace of mind.

These simple actions can help deter many would-be burglars. For enhanced home security, look into installing a system: An indoor starter set from Blink with one camera, motion detection, instant alerts, and more costs just $99 and can be installed in minutes. Smart home products can make life easier, but they can also help make it safer.

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