With summer practically here, we know a lot of you are starting to plan for that sweet getaway to the mountains, to a beach, or maybe to a theme part. Whatever your intentions, families across New Jersey are planning adventures that will take them away from home for a long weekend, a week, or longer. What you may forget in all of that planning is what you’re going to do to make sure your home stays secure while you’re away. Before you pack your bags and send your beloved family pup to doggy camp, there are a few other things you should do to prepare your home.
Better Home Security During Absences
While we’re focusing on what to do to secure your home before a vacation, these tips work for basically any time at which your home will be empty for an extended period — and by extended, we mean anything longer than a day or two. An empty home is the most alluring target for would-be burglars because there won’t be anyone inside who could stop them from grabbing valuables or report them to the police. It’s the same reason most burglars check for a security system with cameras before attempting to break in.
When you leave your house unattended, there are two overarching things you should do: check/boost physical security measures, and do what you can to make it look like someone is at home. Those measures include:
Checking Your Locks
Most locks are pretty durable, but repeated use over time can loosen hardware. Houses also shift and settle with atmospheric and temperature changes (like going from summer into winter), and those shifts can impact how well a lock bolt fits into the door frame. Before you head out on your trip, stop and check all of your exterior locks to make sure everything is functioning well. If you have concerns about how well your deadbolts were installed, your local locksmith can check them for you. This is also a good time to consider rekeying or lock replacement, just in case unauthorized people have keys to your home.
Securing Sliding Doors and Windows
Loose window locks and sliding doors that don’t sit properly can be easy targets for burglars to force their way in. Check that all of your windows are locked, and that locks latch securely with no wiggle room around the window panes. The same goes for your sliding doors; make sure there are no gaps between the panels since burglars can wiggle fingers into that space and pop a door off its tracks. Putting a stick on the tracks doesn’t do any good to stop a door from opening if it’s off the tracks entirely.
Setting Your Alarm System
Obviously, this should be a go-to step before you leave the house. If you have an alarm, make sure it is actually armed. Along with that, though, is ensuring all of the doors and windows to the outside of your house are locked — including the door in from your garage.
Faking A Presence
This is one of the ways in which technology can really be beneficial. When you’re away from home, there are a range of different things you can do to make it look like there is still someone at home. Smart home tools like app-controlled lighting, a smart TV, and even keyless entry locks can all help you simulate a presence in your home when no one is. With those tools, you can turn on lights randomly, turn on the TV, or maybe just run the radio. From a distance, it’ll make it look like people are home — especially if you draw the curtains.
You can do a lot of these methods even without smart home technology. Use timers (like the sort you’d use for a Christmas tree) to turn on lights in main living areas in the evenings. If you don’t want to leave the TV running the whole time, you can turn on the radio so that noise can be heard if a burglar were to snoop closer.
For more tips and tricks to secure your Paramus home while you’re on vacation, connect with the local pros. Firstline Locksmith has years of experience offering residential and commercial locksmith help in Paramus and across New Jersey. Give us a call today to schedule service, or call any time for emergency locksmith help!