7 Home Security Tips for Your Holiday Vacation

Use these home security tips to keep your home safe and sound while you’re away this holiday season.

December’s here and so is the holiday season. Many kids are celebrating a break from school and families across the country are using their time off for family vacations and quality time away from home. 

Halloween wasn’t too long ago, but leaving your home for an extended period of time can be scary—especially if you haven’t prepared your property for your absence. In the spirit of the holidays, we’re taking inspiration from Home Alone and assembling a list of seven solid home security tips for protecting your home while you’re away on vacation. 

Breathe easy, parents—now you won’t have to leave your eight-year-old at home to hold down the fort.

1. Flip the switch on your way out.

Leaving the lights on at home while you’re away isn’t just a great way to rack up your energy bill—it’s more suspicious than not having them on at all, especially if they’re on all night. Quick fix? Invest in a timer that can program your lights to turn on and off according to a predetermined schedule. Any potential intruders scouting out your home should see lights turning on and off and hopefully assume someone’s home. That, or they’ll think the house is haunted. Either way, you’ll scare them off.

2. You’ve got mail…lots and lots of mail.

Nothing says “No one’s here” like a pile of newspapers in the driveway. If you’re going away for any amount of time, put a “stop” order on your deliveries or ask a friend or neighbor to collect them while you’re gone. We can’t be blamed for any missing comics or crossword puzzles, though. 

3. Spare yourself the trouble.

Everyone knows the welcome mat is where most people hide their spare key. The fake rock in the garden bed? Not much better. If you have to leave behind a spare key, leave it with a trusted neighbor or close friend. It’s better in their hands than anywhere else. 

4. All eyes on you.

People love to publicize their vacations on social media. Here’s a tip: Hold off. Believe it or not, criminals have access to social media too and won’t hesitate to capitalize on an opportunity if you present one. We get it, you’re excited (and we’re stoked for you), but maybe wait on posting your pics until you get back. 

5. Help your home unplug.

Speaking of social media, phones, and other technology, disconnecting the electronics you leave home may not deter burglars, but it can save you money in the long run. Turns out, televisions, computers, and microwaves use energy even when they’re turned off. Unplugging isn’t just a good way to save cash, but it’ll protect your appliances from power surges and may save your home from an electrical fire. On the other hand, people can’t rob what doesn’t exist. 

6. Out of sight, out of mind.

This one may seem obvious, but hide anything of value. Keep it out of sight and locked up somewhere safe…like a safe! Stash away jewelry, firearms, and other valuables a burglar might see or try to get their hands on.

7. Home for the holidays.

The above tips are all well and good, but the best way to give the impression that someone’s home is by having someone actually be home. If you don’t want to leave behind one of your children, ask someone you trust to house-sit while you’re gone. They can water your plants, grab your mail, or feed your pets (if you have any). Your sitter doesn’t need to take a page from Home Alone script—no swinging buckets or red-hot doorknobs—but they can provide helpful home upkeep and potentially prevent a break-in.

The best way to give the impression that someone’s home is someone actually being home.

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