How to Secure Your Home When Vacationing!

Make it as hard as possible for a would be thief!

With summer time here all of us take holidays, it maybe just for a day or two at a time, or a couple of weeks all in one shot then some of us go away for the whole summer.

A lot of us don't have expensive security systems. Here is a list of things we can do and should do to secure our homes. Some of these ideas will not cost any money at all just take a bit of our time. There are many 'homesafety kits' on the market that can be bought and easily installed for a couple of hundred bucks. However some of the old-fashioned ways still work.

I think it's well worth the effort to do all to safe-guard our homes even if only for piece of mind.

Doors!

Quite obviously the first thing we need to look at when we want to secure our homes are the doors.

Sturdy heavy-duty dead bolt locks should be fitted on all outside or exterior doors. We should have these types of locks in place for everyday use already. (Dead bolt locks have a flat ended cylindrical bolt that extends into the door-frames from 1 to 2 inches. With steel reinforced components, the dead bolt is the key barrier to stop an intruder from knocking the door in. )

Sliding doors can be well secured by putting a portion of wood cut to the proper length in the lower track. A piece of 2x2, 2x4 or a thick dowel, whatever you can find in the garage, even a piece of the broken golf club will do just fine. For not much money you can also get a piece of wrought iron cut to the right length. This will prevent the door from being slid open.

Still talking about sliding doors, remember to put a small wedge of wood in the upper track of the door, this will prevent the would be intruder from lifting the door out of it's track.

The most visible door (that the neighbors can see) should be fitted with a key-lock-chain . The visibility is for your protection too as you don't want to be fiddling with the key and lock at the dark back door. (Door-chain-locks enables you to open a door to speak to a stranger without them being able to get in. Some of these chain-key-locks are very strong and can't be easily knocked in by a strong and heavy intruder).

Lock tips!

  • Dead bolts can be added to a current door handle mechanism, and they are usually placed a few inches above the standard door handle.
  • Deadbolts and chain locks are excellent supplements. A door with both of these devices will be pretty difficult to break into.
  • These locks are made of brass or reinforced steel, in most cases the weakness is in the door-frame itself. However if the door-frame is made of good quality steel, it will be very secure. The screws should penetrate deeply into the door jam and even into the wall studs.
  • Beware though horizontal dead bolt locks can be pried open with a crowbar. The lock and the frame can be separated enough that the door will open even with the deadbolt protruding one or two inches. So the best deadbolt lock would be the vertical type. Some doors can be fitted with metal fingers on a dead bolt so that the lock won't separate if pried.
 
Constant Walker  says:
 

Hey Zsuzsy. Something I learned several years ago - don't remember where. The screws which hold most deadbolt locks and plates in place are typically very, very short. They can easily be dislodged with a few good kicks.

I replace these screws with the longest ones I can find.

Windows!

The same goes for all your sliding windows as previously discussed in doors. Remember to plop that piece of wood or wrought iron that's been cut to the right length in the lower window track. This will not permit the window to be slid open. Also to prevent the window from being lifted out of it's track push a small wedge of wood at the top of your window.

Motion Sensors!

Lighting is the cheapest form of security. Exterior and Interior lights can be operated by timers or motion sensors.

An easy yet really important thing to do is to ask a friend or neighbour to pick up newspaper and mail also to open and close some of the drapes, different one on different days. Outside a chair, hose or watering can could be moved back and forth just to make the home look lived in.

Engraved identification numbers!

One more important task, how can we identified our belongings if they should be stolen, not only from our homes but during travelling. All we need to do is engrave an identifying number on our belongings and take pictures. (most police services have electric engravers for loaning to the public. Also invisible security pencil can be purchased at any stationary store. The engraver and pencils can be used to put the identifying number on our belongings. These identification numbers should be easy to remember such as your license plate number or your birth-dates.

Prevention the best protection!

There is no device that will keep your house entirely theft-proof. If a burglar is skilled - he will get in. However, if you make it difficult, burglars may decide to steal from someone else.

Burglars want break-ins to be fast and unnoticed. You can deter burglars with light, noise, padlocks and light and motion sensors. One thing to remember is that thieves seldom risk a burglary for no reward therefore keep your valuables out of sight. So, keep all your doors, your garage and windows closed and locked when you're not home.

Remember prevention is the best protection, make it as hard as possible for the thief.

I'd like to wish you all a super fun filled and safe summer....

Prevention is the key to a secure home!

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Comments 31 comments

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

maddy757 thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


maddy757 5 years ago

Thanks a lot for this hub. My house was robber quite a few years back and after that there has always been a person staying back even if the whole family goes on vacationing. These tips shall change it i guess.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

houston home security, thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


houston home security 6 years ago

Interesting tips


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Crickette- I'm appalled and I'm at a loss to understand of how low thiefs can stoop.

my thoughts are with you

kindest regards Zsuzsy


crickette_w profile image

crickette_w 6 years ago

This is so very important. Another, time is not only on vacation. I live in a rural area, we leave everything unlocked. My fiance passed away suddenly. When I returned from the memorial service our house has been broken into and it looked like I had decided to move. The sheriffs department said people watch the obituaries, they figure when someone passes all the neighbors will also go to the memorial so the address becomes a target. It happens alot I guess. I wish I had protected things the way you taught us in this hub. Thank you.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Die'Dre'! Hope they come in handy. Thanks for taking a look and for commenting. regards Zsuzsy


Die'Dre' profile image

Die'Dre' 8 years ago from The Great Pacific Northwest

These are some great tips. Thanks


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Princessa! How are you? How were the holidays? I'm always glad when you stop by for a visit. Prevention is really the best advice. I remember back a few years ago, my youngest was away at camp, when for the sake of excercise I started walking to my shop, I actually didn't take the car out of the driveway in almost two weeks... The car sat there with the doors unlocked, keys (house key included) in the ignition... How lucky was I that nothing happened? That silly escapade curred me and I've become pretty careful... regards Zsuzsy


Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France

Hi, I guess I should have read this before going on holiday ...

Still, thankfully we found everything ok. but next time I will follow your tips. Like you say, prevention is the key and I am not very good at it! I am the type that is always loosing the keys and leaving doors unlocked. Not long ago I left my key on the keyhole of the side door for about a week when a neighbour came to tell me about it! This hub is very welcome :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Compu-smart! How are you? Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

I would wager and say that at least half the people that live in the country do not even lock their doors when they leave. I know I was that way at my other home, I didn't even remember where I had left my keys. I had a dickens of a time finding them when I sold the place... I'm better now... I now almost always know where my keys are and I now also follow the list I've given here regards Zsuzsy


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Very valuable advice Zsuzsy!

The worse thing in the world is being a victem of a burglary! it can be more devastating than being robbed in the street!!

Lock picking is soo easy noadays! there are hundreds of videos explaining how to make them such as the famous "bump" key! so look for anti bump cylinders!

I have a very unique and origonal way of protecting my home which im sorry i cannot share here for security reasons!!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

CGull! Always glad when you stop by for a visit. Your comment is just too true... My daughters Mother-in-law came to Ontario for a visit and had to leave after only two days because her home had been broken into. She lost a lot of valuables without any hope of identifying them even if the police were to find the items.

Thanks for commenting regards Zsuzsy


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 8 years ago from North Carolina

Most of us will do this only after the house is robbed, prevention is a much better solution. Thanks for the lovely tips Zsuzsy. Cheers.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Dabbling Mom! You're right of course about the neighbors looking out for your home while you're gone. I just looked at the hub and I don't know what happened but there is a whole capsule about just that missing... I'll have hunt it down and repost it...No idea where it went to...off in "hither-space" I guess??????

Thanks for commenting regards Zsuzsy  


dabblingmum 8 years ago

Great tips. Let me add a couple more...

Stop your mail and newspaper delivery. You don't want it stacking up while you are gone--that's a sure sign you are out of town.

Ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on the place--you never know when an unexpected UPS delivery may show up, let alone someone snooping around for entry.

NEVER, EVER BLOG that you are going to be on vacation or away from the home. It's so easy for people to find out where you live and break in. If you want to talk about your trip, do it when you return. (Now some people will blog about vacations when other members are still at home, but never do it when everyone is away.)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

bonnieweelass! Thanks for your visit and comment.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Lidian! Thank you for taking a look.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Constant Walker thanks for the tip I posted your comment into the hub.

Always glad when you come for a visit

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thanks Patty for taking a look and commenting. I agree with you that we need to take prevention into our own hands... it's sad to say that though as I would much prefer the old ways where you knew your neighbor was there for you. It's a different world we live in now...

regards Zsuzsy


Lidian profile image

Lidian 8 years ago

Excellent tips!


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Hey Zsuzsy. Something I learned several years ago - don't remember where. The screws which hold most deadbolt locks and plates in place are typically very, very short. They can easily be dislodged with a few good kicks.

I replace these screws with the longest ones I can find.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

Thumbs up! it used to be that neighbors looked out for one another and their homes, but we need to do more ourselves now.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Marisue! We have to make it as hard as possible for the would be thieves... and at the same time we need to remember when to let go... after all the things in our homes are all only things...

I'm always glad when you come for a visit, thanks for the comment. regards Zsuzsy


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

Prevention the best protection! ---

I like all your tips and even a cop's wife needs this list. We often forget one or two things that can make a huge difference. I rhink of protection as "layers" of time between you and the would be intruder.

Every second counts. I recently had a scarey experience and we just installed our safety storm door. (My latest hubs describe this...) and I was drawn to your hub for extra reminders of things to do.

thank you!!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Michelle! How sad thieves right next door. It's a far cry from me not ever locking my door at the farm. I don't even know half the time where my keys are... Then I also have three dogs in the house at all times.

I'm always glad when you stop by        regards Zsuzsy 


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

JOHN! Your absolutely right about the stickers helping to ward off would be thieves. When my tailor shop was downtown and I carried special insurance for customers fur or leather coats I had stickers on my window and door. The stores next door to mine on both side was broken into on numerous occassions yet mine was safe.

As I said prevention is the best protection. Thanks for coming for a visit

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thanks for stopping by Bob and your comment.

regards Zsuzsy


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

A burglar entered our neighbor's house two nights ago. So dad suggested we put grills in our windows. Yikes, that seems too unsightly...but then maybe that will be just for safety. Thanks for the tips.


John Chancellor profile image

John Chancellor 8 years ago from Tennessee

Good advice. One thing everyone should realize is that burglars will pass a house that appears to be protected in favor of one that appears to be unprotected. So just having a security sign in your front yard and the stickers in your windows provides some degree of protection.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

great tips.

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