The McDonald Real Estate Team

RE/MAX North Lake

By Sean and Aimee McDonald | Tuesday, August 14, 2018
The McDonald Real Estate Team, Summer Vacation and Home Security
Planning a summer getaway? 
Unfortunately, residential burglaries are at their highest during the summer months, often when homeowners are away on a well-deserved vacation.  Yet, simple considerations oftentimes profoundly enhance a home’s security and homeowners are encouraged to take precautions, safeguarding their homes from would-be thieves before leaving town.
It goes without saying, homeowners should diligently attend to locking up their homes, when leaving, as a well-secured home typically discourages burglars.  However, some neglect locking doors and windows, or worse yet, they forget to remove hidden spare keys.  Those not-so-secret places, under the doormat, beneath the fake rock or inside the flower pot, are common places many thieves explore when seeking access to a home. 
The appearance of an occupied home is often the best deterrent; however, homeowners sometimes overlook subtle visual ques communicating they’ve left town.  Temporarily halting newspaper deliveries and the mail service, and seeing to the maintenance of the lawn and landscape, are important steps in reducing the chance a burglar will target the home. 
Garages are among those entry points oftentimes forgotten.  Whether accessing a garage using a universal remote, or breaking into a vehicle and opening the garage door using an opener, the potential for access to the home from the garage is an ever-present risk.  Locking the garage door before going on vacation is extremely important.  When necessary, securing c-clamps to the door’s tracks, to obstruct the rollers, can further deter unwelcome visitors.
When utilized, the integration of timed lighting and motion sensors can be effective deterrents.  But, timed lighting shouldn’t be programmatically set to perpetually turn on and off at the same time each day, nor should a light constantly remain on as both are indicative of a home’s vacancy.  Burglars hate light and both motion sensors and varied lighting schedules have the power to discourage their attempts.  In connection, many times timed technologies can also be applied to radios or televisions, further providing the illusion, someone is home.
While it’s natural to want to share vacation experiences with family and friends, homeowners must be mindful of what they post online.  Announcing vacation plans and posting images oftentimes invites trouble.  The perceived anonymity afforded by the internet, can lure people into a false sense of security when sharing personal information.  Homeowners are best served in waiting until their vacation has concluded, before posting anything that indicates they’re away from home.  In this day-and-age, internet safety is of monumental importance; yet, many would-be burglars learn about potential victims from trolling social media.
Should a break in occur, immediately knowing what was taken is vitally important.  Creating a home inventory checklist, focused on items of value is highly recommended.  Although it may take time to prepare a comprehensive itemized list, subsequent updates are easier once the list has been created.  In the event a homeowner must file a claim with their insurance carrier, a detailed inventory proves invaluable.  Taking photographs and recording serial numbers of documented items are also important complementary efforts.
Returning from a memorable vacation to learn something has gone awry can be traumatic.  When you consider most burglaries are spur of the moment decisions, sought by opportunists who view an unlocked door or open window as an invitation to invade, homeowners are encouraged to pay close attention to their home’s security needs.  Being proactive affords homeowners a chance to safeguard their residences so they can enjoy some much-needed rest.