If you are like most people, you’re concerned about intruders getting into your house when you leave it empty and unattended. The threat of a burglary or other disaster is a constant worry for the absentee homeowner. Fortunately, there are many easy and effective ways you can safeguard your property which don’t involve hiring one of those expensive home security monitoring services. Here’s a handy do-it-yourself home security checklist you can print out and refer to each time you are going away:
1. Secure and lock all doors, windows and garage doors. Install deadbolts on doors for added reinforcement and install dowel rods into the track of your double-hung windows or sliding doors to make them more difficult to open.
2. Partially close blinds, drapes and shades to make it difficult for intruders to look in while still giving the impression that the house is occupied.
3. Set automatic timers to turn lights, radios and/or TV sets on and off at varying times of day and night so it appears that someone is in house.
4. Good exterior lighting is key to deter break-ins. Install spotlights and floodlights to illuminate potential hiding places for burglars and put them on timers. Lighting fixtures with motion detectors are also recommended. There are also video surveillance kits that allow you to remotely monitor your home and property through live or playback video that you can watch over the internet or even via a smartphone.
5. Alert trusted neighbors that you will be away. It you are going to be away for more than a few days, ask one of them to stop by to check on the house at least once a week. Request that they call 911 to report any suspicious goings-on at your house that they observe.
6. Also alert your local police department of your vacation plans and give them a phone number where you can be reached in case of an emergency. If you would prefer to be alerted directly and instantly of a burglary in your home, you could install a DIY wireless security system that will contact you on your cell phone if there is a break-in or disturbance.
7. Stop mail and newspaper delivery. If you will be gone for an extended period of time, consider having the post office forward your first class mail so you can stay current on your bills.
8. Arrange for lawn mowing, leaf removal, snow plowing and snow shoveling to give the impression that your home is active and lived in.
9. Hide all expensive items and lock up any valuables or move them off-site.
10. Keep your travel plans confidential. Don’t post your plans on Facebook or other social networking websites and risk alerting potential thieves.
Follow these do-it-yourself home security steps to protect your home before you leave on that weekend escape or a three-month respite and you’ll appreciate the peace of mind you have knowing that your home and property are properly safeguarded.
Tell us your favorite Do-It-Yourself Home Security tips in the comments!