Home Alone: How to Keep Your House Safe While You’re Away

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As nice as it may be to stay home, there are times when everyone has to leave for a while. Business trips, vacations, special occasions, going out for any of these things means leaving your house unattended for a while. This means that while you’re away, you need to come up with ways to keep your belongings safe and secure.

Locking your doors and windows is good enough for a day or two away from home. But when you’re going to be away for several days or weeks at a time, then you’ll need to consider other ways to keep your house safe. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning how to increase your home’s security.

Terrain is Important

Consider what your home looks like to a passerby. What parts of your house can you see from the street? Can you see into any of your house’s interior spaces? Something that you should take into consideration when planning any security system is what your home looks like from the outside. Burglars and thieves are usually opportunists by nature and will go for targets that look vulnerable.

While aesthetically pleasing, dense hedges or wide transparent windows pose distinctive security risks. Hedges and privacy walls can potentially conceal an intruder trying to enter your property. Large windows provide a good view of your home’s interior and can allow a burglar to plan the best rooms to ransack to take your valuables. Consider buying security fencing and a one-way window film to mitigate these risks.

Surveillance is Helpful

Another thing to consider is having a method to detect any unwanted activity on your property. Even if a burglar can enter your home, being able to catch them before they can do any damage is important. Even doing something as simple as asking a trusted friend or neighbor to watch the house is better than having no idea of what’s going on at home while you’re away.

If you’re willing to invest some money into improving your home security, consider installing security cameras or motion-activated lights on your property. They can work in tandem, alerting you to any suspicious activity on the premises no matter where you are, and allowing you to call the authorities to catch the burglars in the act.

Keeping Up Appearances

house

Burglars and thieves will usually target homes that look like they’ve been empty for an extended period. Lights that are on 24/7 and a full mailbox can tip them off that nobody has been home for a while. Buying smart lights that turn on and off at specific times of day, or having a trusted neighbor collect your mail for you can both serve to mitigate these risks.

If you can ask a friend or a relative to house-sit for you while you’re away, that’s even better. They’ll be able to come in and check your house for any sign of foul play, and your home won’t look like an easy target to passing opportunists.

Be Thoughtful

There are two ways of breaching your home, destructive and non-destructive entry. Destructive entry involves physically damaging your property to gain access to it. Smashing windows, busting locks, and cutting chains are all examples of this, and leave clear evidence that someone has been in the house. They require little skill and not much time. The only way to prevent destructive entry is by keeping a close eye on your property and ensuring that all of your doors and windows are made of durable materials.

Non-destructive entry requires a degree of skill but is far more discreet. Picking locks, finding hidden emergency keys under doormats, and shimmying locks open all leave the security measures intact. The best way to prevent this kind of entry is to use locks that have been assessed to have as few exploitable weaknesses as possible and to ensure that there aren’t any glaring vulnerabilities in the layout of your home. After all, a thief wouldn’t need to break or pick the lock on a window if they can use a small tool to just shimmy the lock open from the outside. Being thoughtful when putting your security measures in place can prevent this and more.

Be Discrete

The best way to prevent your home from being targeted is to simply not look like a target at all. If a thief does not believe that you have anything worth taking, then all of your other security concerns get nipped in the bud. A secure lock can be picked open with enough time and skill, but that isn’t an issue if no one even tries.

Be discrete with how you position the large and valuable electronics in your home. Although it might be nice to have a high-end gaming computer in your living room, leaving it in plain view of your front windows just signals to passing opportunists that this house contains valuable things. Be mindful of where you put your things and take care when laying out the interior of your home.

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