There are few things in life that are better than going on vacation with your loved ones. The memories alone can last a lifetime and are often well worth the cost of the trip.
Cherished memories of your family members aren't the only benefits that come with taking a vacation. Research has also proven that you can improve your mindfulness, heart health, stress levels, and brain function just by getting away for a few days.
If you haven't gone on vacation in a while, it might be time to start booking some flights, packing some bags, and reserving some rooms. But before you do that, pause and take some steps to help protect the valuables in your home.
Following these 10 home safety tips will give you the peace of mind you need to get the most out of your well-deserved vacation.
5 Tips for Protecting the Inside of Your House
1. Automate Your Lights for Home Security
One of the easiest ways a burglar can tell that you're not home is by watching to see if the lights ever come on. The US Department of Energy estimates that the average American household has about 52 light bulbs - a number high enough for a burglar to notice when they're all off.
By automating your lights, you can give the impression that you're still home. You can opt for lights that turn off and on based on a timer, or you can set up lights that you control via a mobile phone app. It may require some extra hardware, plugs, or accessories, but it's well worth the time and money.
2. Check on Your Home Using Smart Devices
Thanks to the constantly evolving world of technology, setting up cameras in your home has never been easier. You no longer need an elaborate security system to be able to keep an eye on your house in case of an emergency.
Instead, a few well-placed smart devices will be more than enough. You'll be able to check in anytime from your cell phone and see for yourself that everyone is just fine.
One of the more popular options for smart devices involves the use of motion sensors. Since no one is supposed to be home, you'll instantly be notified anytime the motion sensor picks up a movement. Most likely it will just be the neighborhood cat, but in the event of an intruder, you can then call the police, report the active break-in, and send them the video so they can make an arrest.
You may also consider the iCube Smart Safe as part of your security system. Not your everyday bulky safe, this sleek design comes in glossy black or white and includes 8 pre-drilled bolt holes for easy installation. It also offers seamless onboarding through our cellular IoT network, and it will send you a smartphone alert if anyone tries to tamper with it while you're away.
Knowing that someone is trying to access your property or your valuables while you're gone may be the difference between catching a home burglar in the act and losing your important heirlooms.
3. Protect Against Power Surges
Power surges can cause extensive damage to your home. A random electrical surge can instantly overload and short out the circuitry of any appliance that's plugged in.
In some cases, the surge can be so powerful that the electronic device overheats and catches fire. It will only take a few minutes for a fire to overtake the entire house and destroy anything that isn't fireproof.
The best way to protect against power surges is to unplug your television, computers, microwave, and any other non-essential electronics. You should use a surge protector to safeguard everything else that will need to stay plugged in, such as your refrigerator, automated lights, and security systems.
4. Double-Check Doors and Windows
The easiest way to get inside a house is by opening the door. The second easiest way is to open a window. These are the areas that a burglar will try first, so make sure to check all your locks before you leave.
5. Store Your Valuables in the Right Safe
The most popular way to keep your valuable belongings secure is to put them in a safe. People have been using safes to protect their valuables since the time of the pharaohs in Ancient Egypt.
Even the most elaborate home security systems can be bypassed with enough expertise, so you'll want to make sure that your safe - your last line of defense - can withstand an experienced burglar. Not all safes are the same so be sure that you're getting the right type of safe to fit your specific needs.
For instance, if you only need a small home safe, consider the Mycube Mini. Weighing only 35 pounds, yet made with ⅛ inch-thick reinforced steel walls and 8 pre-drilled bolt holes for easy installation, the Mycube Mini provides advanced protection in a compact, elegant package. It comes with an illuminated digital keypad and is available in silver, teal, black, and white so it can blend in seamlessly with almost any interior decor.
5 Tips for Protecting the Outside of Your House
1. Hire Lawn Professionals While You're Away
Using a trick like automated lights is a good way to make a burglar think you're home, but they aren't going to buy it when your lawn is wildly unkempt and your grass is overgrown.
If you're going to be gone for a while, consider hiring someone to tend to your lawn. Keeping the lawn mowed, leaves raked, and snow shoveled can go a long way toward convincing a burglar that the home isn't empty.
2. Keep Exterior Lights On
Although studies have shown that most residential burglaries take place during the day, turning on your exterior lights at night is still a good way to make would-be burglars think that someone is home.
It's even more effective if you install exterior lights with motion sensors. Nothing will stop a burglar dead in their tracks faster than a light suddenly being turned on outside a house that they thought was empty.
3. Park Your Cars in the Garage
It will probably come as no surprise, but cars are much easier to break into than the average home. There are hundreds of thousands of car break-ins each year, and the best way to protect your car is to park it in your garage.
Most car break-ins are crimes of opportunity rather than premeditated attacks, and many burglars will decide that it's not worth breaking into the garage first.
If you don't have a garage, then make sure that anything of value is removed from your car before you leave. Double-check that you've locked all the doors and closed all the windows, and consider a smartphone-enabled car security system if you're still concerned.
4. Give Your Spare Key to a Neighbor
It's very tempting to simply stash your spare key under the doormat, on top of the door jamb, or inside a potted plant - but the truth is that none of these hiding places are safe from the prying eyes of a burglar. They'll be willing to search every inch outside your house for that key because having it will make their job a hundred times easier.
Instead, give your spare key to a trusted neighbor, family member, or friend for safekeeping. It's much more likely that a burglar will lift your doormat to look for your spare key than attempt to figure out which neighbor has it.
5. Have Someone Check in on Your House
While you don't have to hire a professional housesitter, it's still a good idea to ask someone to stop by every now and again and look for signs of suspicious activity. Having an extra set of eyes can go a long way toward assuaging your worries.
Essential Safety Measures for Every Homeowner
In addition to protecting your home when you're away, make sure to put the following tips into practice while you're home.
- Keep at least one fire extinguisher in case of a home fire.
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in each room for fire safety, and consider a fireproof safe like our sleek, streamlined commercial-grade Firecube to protect valuable documents and belongings.
- Childproof your door knobs and cabinets if you have small children.
- Keep the phone number for Poison Control on the fridge, and make sure to have a first aid kit handy.
- Install an alarm system at your front door and garage door.
- Keep cleaning products, lighters, and any choking hazards out of reach of children.
- Make a natural disaster evacuation plan.
A vacation is supposed to be the highlight of your year. Don't let a burglary - or constant worries about one - get in the way.
Following the 10 steps listed above is a great way to get the peace of mind you need and thoroughly enjoy your vacation.
If you're looking for more protection, check out Mycube today to find the right safe for your needs. You'll be able to sit back and enjoy your vacation knowing that your valuables will be secure and waiting for you when you return.
Old-Fashioned, Inefficient Light Bulbs Live On at the Nation's Dollar Stores | The New York Times
12 Mistakes That Make Your Car Vulnerable to Break-Ins | Bob Vila
Why Taking Vacation Time Could Save Your Life | Forbes
The Couple Who Travel the World House Sitting | CNN
These Smart Devices Protect Your Home While You're on Vacation | The New York Times