Vacation should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment, free from worrying about what’s happening at home. To ensure peace of mind, take precautions to keep your home safe while you’re away. Here are some effective strategies to secure your home during your absence.

Secure All Entry Points to Keep Your Home Safe

Before you leave, double-check that all doors and windows are securely locked. This may seem obvious, but it’s an easy step to overlook in the rush of preparing for a trip. Consider installing deadbolts on doors and additional locks on windows for added security. Sliding doors are particularly vulnerable, so use a metal rod or a piece of wood in the track to prevent them from being forced open.

Use Timers for Lights

A dark, quiet house can signal to potential intruders that no one is home. To avoid this, use timers to turn lights on and off at various times throughout the evening. This creates the illusion that someone is home, deterring would-be burglars. Some advanced timers can also control radios or televisions, adding an extra layer of realism to the ruse.

Keep Your Home Safe with a Security System

A good security system is one of the most effective ways to protect your home. Modern systems come with various features, including motion detectors, door and window sensors, and cameras that can be monitored remotely via your smartphone. Many systems also offer professional monitoring services, which can alert authorities in case of a break-in.

Enlist the Help of Neighbors

If you have a trusted neighbor, let them know about your travel plans. They can keep an eye on your property, collect your mail, and even park their car in your driveway to give the appearance that someone is home. Offer to return the favor when they go on vacation.

Halt Mail and Deliveries

A pile of newspapers on the doorstep or an overflowing mailbox is a clear sign that no one is home. Arrange to have your mail held at the post office and suspend regular deliveries, such as newspapers or packages, while you’re away. This prevents these telltale signs from giving away your absence.

Keep Valuables Out of Sight to Keep Your Home Safe

Ensure that valuable items like electronics, jewelry, and important documents are not visible from windows. Consider investing in a safe to store these items securely. If a break-in does occur, having valuables out of sight or locked away can minimize losses and protect your most important possessions.

Maintain Your Yard

An overgrown lawn or neglected garden can signal that a house is unoccupied. Arrange for someone to mow your lawn and maintain your yard while you’re away. This will keep up appearances and help prevent any issues that can arise from neglect, such as attracting unwanted pests.

Avoid Social Media Announcements

As tempting as sharing your vacation plans on social media may be, it’s best to avoid doing so until you return. Publicly announcing that you’re away can alert potential burglars to your absence. Share your photos and experiences after you’re back home to ensure you’re not inadvertently making your home a target.

Use Smart Home Devices

Smart home technology offers various ways to keep your home secure. From smart locks and doorbell cameras to automated lighting systems, these devices can be controlled remotely and provide real-time updates on the status of your home. They can also be set up to notify you of any unusual activity, allowing you to respond quickly if needed.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that your home remains safe and secure while you enjoy your vacation. Peace of mind is priceless, and knowing that you’ve taken precautions to protect your home allows you to relax and enjoy your time away.


What should I do if my neighborhood doesn’t have a neighborhood watch program?

If a neighborhood watch program is not available, consider starting one. In the meantime, you can still ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your property and report any suspicious activity.

What should I do with my car if I go on an extended trip?

If possible, leave your car parked in your driveway or have a neighbor park their car there. You can also ask a friend or family member to periodically move the car to give the appearance of activity.

Is it safe to leave a spare key hidden outside my home?

Hiding a spare key outside is generally not recommended, as experienced burglars know common hiding spots. Instead, give a spare key to a trusted neighbor or friend who can access your home in case of an emergency.

How far in advance should I start preparing my home for vacation?

It’s advisable to start preparing at least a week before your trip. This allows enough time to make necessary arrangements, such as installing security measures, notifying neighbors, and arranging mail holds or lawn care.

Five Stars Home Inspection offers home inspection services in the Greater Boston area. If you’re buying or selling a home, contact us to request an appointment.