As we walked to our departure gate I could feel my phone vibrate. My heart skipped a beat as I saw the alert from my security system: motion was detected. Already? Really?! We’ve been gone for 2 hours at the most and someone is already breaking into my house?! We really don’t have much of value in there anyway. Hahah. Luckily, I was able to watch the video and saw that the motion it detected was the wind that knocked a branch into the window.
We are all getting ready for the holidays and some of you will be traveling, leaving your homes unattended for several days. I’ve read that break-ins are common around this time and it also goes up in the summer time. I wouldn’t have thought it went up in the summer, but it does. My husband’s commuter bike got stolen right from our garage last summer! Anyway, perhaps it is that I am now paranoid as we live close to downtown and have many prowlers, even when we live in a pretty nice neighborhood. In any case, even though we will be home for the holidays, it is always good to be protected and I would do anything to keep my family safe.
Here are some tips for keeping your home safe while you are away either on vacation or just running errands. I’ve read that it only takes a burglar 8-10 minutes to rummage through your things and leave! Geez!! That is quick.
- Having a bulging mailbox or newspapers/packages on your door step indicates to others that you are not home. Either holding your mail (but that also means telling them you will be gone for a period of time) or having a trusted friend pick up any correspondence daily can help by eliminating the appearance of no one being home.
- While many skilled burglars may be able to disable an alarm system, having one is one more deterrent. They want something easy, quick, in and out, to avoid getting caught. There are many security systems out there and if I wasn’t renting, I would invest in one. If they aren’t disabled, they will alarm the intruder and call police for you. I believe they verify to make sure it is a true intrusion first- because it might be the house-sitter who forgot the alarm code!
- Motion lights are a great way to alarm intruders. They not only help guide you on your way to your door or back door, but they turn on revealing the person which may make it easy to identify on camera or even alert your neighbors. These people don’t want to get caught.
- Having a security camera has definitely put my mind at ease. And not only for prowlers, but it also serves as a nanny cam. I don’t leave my kids often, but when I do I can look on my phone and see what’s going on at home. We have loved having the Canary for that reason and also for being able to check out what was going on while we were away on over Thanksgiving. Because it is synched to my phone, it knows when I leave the house and only records when there is motion or sound detected. You can sound the alarm or place an emergency call right from the app if you see something suspicious: intruder, fire, flooding inside the house, etc. The Canary has several cameras (all with night vision and able to tell you the temperature and humidity levels) you can use, for outside or inside, that all are visible through their app. While you can get a membership which allows you to keep things recorded on their cloud for up to a month, you don’t have to have a membership. Without one, it only saves recordings for one day. Another reason I like the Canary is because it records- you can set it up to when you are home. Just let the app know and you can have special moments recorded! Having one outside is great too because you can see who is coming to your house, and I can see the kids jumping or playing out back. Right now they have a FREE 2-Day Shipping offer
- A big dog also deters intruders. Anything that will draw attention usually means it won’t be a quick in and out.
- This is a given but some people forget to lock EVERYTHING! Yes, lock your windows, your back door, your side door, close your garage door, lock your cars and remove anything that may be valuable from sight. Even backpacks or diaper bags look enticing. In your home, burglars go to the master bedroom first- hide your jewelry and electronics if you can. Also I read that leaving children’s toys outside may be more detrimental as they know a mother most likely lives there and mothers usually have jewelry!
- Install a wi-fi light switch. You can control your lights from anywhere in the world using it’s app. Turn them on and off at different times to give the illusion that someone is home. And if you use multiple security systems one can alert you and you can see when someone is at the door, if they look suspicious you can manually turn the lights on to alert them that someone is home. Or if they are just casing the neighborhood then it can appear to them that you are home and not to bother.
- Lastly, you can always hire a good old fashioned house sitter. Someone will be home, keeping it safe. However, having any sort of security system is great even when you are home. You never know when you will need it.
I hope those were helpful! I know we are much more vigilant about not leaving our garage door open ever since my husband’s bike got stolen. Also, having a camera there can catch anyone that tries to steal from our property again. I’d love to hear any tips you have for keeping your home safe or anything you’ve learned from past mistakes.