Newly painted and stained exterior of modern home during summertWith the weather warming up, you’re likely starting to plan some fun weekend or week-long trips for you and your family. But leaving your home could make it more vulnerable to break-ins, especially when burglars know that you’ll be away for an extended period of time. Here are some good practices to keep in mind that will help keep your home and possessions safe while you’re away.

Don’t Publicize Your Trip

This is especially true for social media these days. Telling the world on our blog or on Twitter that you’ll be away from your home for two weeks is an easy way to invite potential burglars to locate your home so that they can take advantage of your being away. Even discussing your trip in a public place like a restaurant or public transportation could be a risk. So even if you’re terribly excited for your upcoming trip, be mindful of what details you may be leaking out to nearby listeners.

Don’t Hold Your Mail

A free courtesy that the U.S. Postal Service offers is holding your mail when you notify them that you’ll be away for an extended period of time, but some burglars actually keep a lookout for who is having their mail held, as those homes make easy targets. So instead of holding your mail, consider having a neighbor or friend stop by to pick up your mail and newspapers to help maintain the appearance of an occupied home.

Hire a House-Sitter

This can be a pricier option, so an alternative would be to simply have a friend or neighbor stop by and check in on the house periodically (when coming to collect your mail and newspapers, for example.) No matter which way you decide to do it, still having a human presence at your home is a great way to give the appearance of an occupied home and to deter potential burglars. This also helps with small details like keeping your plants watered, moving your trash bins, switching house lights on or off, and keeping your front door clear of little fliers.

What’s In Your GPS?

Many leave their GPS devices in their cars in long-term parking garages, forgetting that a GPS from your car in the hands of a thief could lead them directly to your home. So keep in mind that it’s always a great idea to take your GPS with you, leave it with a friend, or set “Home” in your GPS to a nearby place like the grocery store.

Consider a Smart Home Security System

Did you know that it’s possible to control the settings on your alarm system, locks, and more from halfway across the world when you have a smart home security system? Smart home security is easy to have installed and more affordable than you might think. We cover the many possibilities that a smart home security system offers more in-depth in our post from last month called “How Smartphone Controlled Security Systems Work.” If you’re really looking to amp up the security of your home and keep it closely monitored while you’re away, a smart home security system is a great option for you.