Summer is around the corner and if you’re like many Americans this year, you might be looking into how you can travel this summer. Before you start looking into where you want to stay, how to get to the airport and what to pack, preparing your home with wifi cameras and security should be your first step. 4 out of 5 burglars occur when a house is unoccupied - especially in the summer when July and August are recorded as the worst months for home break ins.
To prepare for your summer trip, we have outlined the best home security tips while you’re on vacation to gear up your home and disguise your home to look vacant.
Avoid posting any vacation or business trip details
We know it’s tempting to want to share with your friends and family of your getaway and post photos online but unfortunately, this can cause more harm than good. Statistics show that 65% of burglars know the victims of the home they are burglarizing in some way. Whether they are your Facebook friend or Instagram follower, posting that you are on vacation lets onlookers know your home is vacant. Avoid posting your location, your travel itinerary and when you are leaving as many burglars use these sites to view account to see if it’s “safe” to enter a home.
Have a neighbor collect mail or packages
When burglars are looking for a house that is vacant, they observe if there is mail, newspaper or packages left on their doorstep. Piles of mail is a big waving flag the home is vacant. Have a neighbor come by once a day to pick up any packages, mail and newspaper and put it inside the house if they have a key or store it at their home until you get back.
If you have a wireless video doorbell and receive notifications of packages being delivered, you can use two-way audio (like the Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell) to ask the delivery person to place your packages behind a bush or tree so it cannot be seen from the street. This is also a great way to prevent a porch pirate from snatching your precious package until a trusted neighbor can pick up the package.
Make your home look occupied
Making your home look occupied is a key component in keeping it safe outside of security cameras. Ask your neighbor to go to your house every day to move items on your lawn around to make it appear if someone is actively near the home.
- Change the potted plant arrangement
- Walk along the grass
- Arrange your rocks differently
- If you have a table or chair set in the front, move the chairs around to make them look either recently sat in
Smart light bulbs are a great way to make it look like someone is home when you’re miles away. Lighting can be scheduled through a smart home app on your phone to turn on and off at a certain time - or manually to make it look unscheduled and random. When using smart home lighting on vacation, try to turn your lights on and off through the day at least 3 to 4 times for about 1 hour each interval.
Install Home Security Cameras
Having a wireless outdoor camera and doorbell camera is the best way to stay secure and have an extra set of eyes on your home 24/7. Security cameras for your home have become more innovative in the last few years allowing you to view your cameras on your phone whether you’re at home or pool side in another country. Most cameras are motion detection based like the Toucan Wireless Outdoor Camera, and can send you an instant notification whenever motion is detected, allowing you to stay connected live from your vacation spot.
Any large electronics like your television, computers and bigger technology items that include wiring should be unplugged before you leave. If you have a surge protector and outlets with many wires together, this is a potential fire hazard in your home. If you are on vacation, not being able to monitor your electronics - this can be incredibly dangerous.
Lock up any valuables - ensure they are not visible from your front windows
Important valuables like expensive electronics, smart home items, jewelry etc. should be stored in a safe area when you are away. Items that can be viewed from your windows are especially vulnerable to anyone looking through your windows to see what opportunity is there for them. Remove the tech items from your window and store them in a safe drawer or closet.
Check windows, garage doors, side doors.
Make sure you lock up before you leave! While you’re preparing to leave, go through each window and door to ensure they are properly locked and working even if you are running late. If you have any smart locks on your home, check them throughout your trip to ensure they are locked and your home is secure.
When placing cameras around your home, place wireless security cameras near high traffic windows and doors so you can watch over them when you are away and monitor any motion detection.
Clean up your landscaping
Unfortunately, we cannot pause mother nature. If you are going on a long vacation, having overgrown grass will be a signal to any onlookers that the home is vacant.
If possible, have a neighbor, or gardener mow your lawn to avoid your home looking vacant. If you will be gone for a short period, mow your lawn and water any plants right before you leave so the lawn does not get overgrown and the plants look well kept.
A general important home security tip is to clean up around the outside of your home often. Remove any children’s toys, clean up around plants and gather together any leaves whenever you can. Having these items left around gives a signal that the homeowner is not concerned with their property and likely doesn’t have security measures to keep the home secure.
Keeping your home safe and preparing your home when you leave for vacation is crucial for the ultimate peace of mind. Toucan Smart Home is dedicated to keep your home secure - check out our Toucan Wireless Outdoor Camera and Wireless Video Doorbell to gear up your home for a safe summer.