Whether you are leaving for a fun summer vacation or an obligatory business trip, the security of the home can be a major source of anxiety. Besides preparing your home by resetting the thermostat, turning the water heater down, and unplugging unnecessary appliance, there is the ever-present threat of a break-in. Follow some or all the following steps to enhance home security and your peace of mind.
Landscape for Security
Shrubs and trees are often used to enhance privacy, but they can become a liability when poorly positioned. It is important to maintain street visibility for doors and windows as well as reduce access to the roof and upper-level windows. Plants are useful for security purposes too. Thorny shrubs, like the wild rose, prickly pear, and American Holly, effectively deter would-be thieves from window or backyard entry.
Eyes on the Street
Most break-ins are carried out by acquaintances who know you are away. It is important to let friends and nearby family know of your plans so that they can keep an eye out, but there is no need to share the news with everyone. A trusted neighbor or two who knows you are away can make a huge difference at the right moment. Everyone benefits from building relationships to enhance mutual security.
A house that stays dark for several nights with a distinct absence of traffic is likely to draw the attention of thieves. You could avoid being an easy target by leaving the lights on, but this is an expensive option. A couple of well-placed timers should be installed to turn lights on and off. Solar lighting can be used for timed lighting outdoors.
Anti-pick and Old Locks
All locks can be picked. Someone with a little experience and the right tools can usually pick a lock in seconds. Even worse, the Internet has made it easy to learn the skills and acquire equipment. Make your home more secure by upgrading to newer anti-pick locks. For those old, sticky locks, don’t bother changing them. The harder it is to open a lock with your key, the harder it will be to open by other means.
Monitored Alarm Systems
Old alarm systems suffered from a serious design flaw. Simply cutting the electricity and phone line effectively disabled the alarm. New systems overcome this problem with battery backup and wireless communication. Installation of a system with 24 hour monitoring service is an effective way to interrupt break-ins. For deterrent value, you need to advertise the system. Few thieves will take the risk with so many easier targets out there.
Home security is about more than protecting your possessions. It’s also important for managing the stress of leaving home. One or all of these tips should be used to avoid worries, so you can focus on enjoying your trip.
Colin Riddle is a freelance writer who blogs about ways to keep your home safe. If you are leaving for an extended period of time and are interested in getting a home security system, be sure to research alarm system companies to find the best deal.