As the weather gets warmer, more and more families prepare to take vacations, which leaves their homes vacant for long periods of time. Criminals know the signs to look for that signal that no one is home and often watch homes to spot a family headed on a trip. While your home is certainly more vulnerable to burglary while you’re away, there are some steps you can take in preparation that will minimize your risk of a break-in.

Mail and newspapers

One of the easiest ways for anyone to tell that a house is empty, and has been for some time, is to look for a mailbox that’s full or multiple daily newspapers in the driveway. To prevent this from happening while you’re on vacation, you can contact the post office and stop your mail, and make a similar call to your newspaper supplier. Or, you can ask a neighbor or friend to stop by and pick up your mail to keep it from building up. When they pick up your mail, they can also look around to make sure there are no signs of forced entry or anything else amiss with your property.

Keep up the lawn

Another sign of an extended absence is an overgrown lawn. If your vacation lasts for weeks, you may not be able to avoid this without hiring a lawn service, but for shorter trips, you can do some work before you leave and get home before the lawn looks extremely long. Consider setting your mower down farther than usual so the lawn takes longer to get high. Also, be sure to trim bushes and trees before you leave. Try to remove any dead or broken branches so they don’t fall while you’re away. Yard work done a day or two before you leave will keep your yard looking kept up for at least a week.

Timers and unplugging

What to do about electrical items while you’re gone? Because some larger items continue to draw power even if they aren’t in use, it’s a good idea to unplug televisions, computers and similar items to save money. This also reduces the risk of an electrical fire. You’ll also want to unplug your garage door opener to secure that potential entry point. However, you don’t want to completely power down your home while you’re away. A house with no lights on and no movement will certainly become a target for theft. Instead, invest in timers so that different lights come on at different times. For outside lights, you can use a light sensor so that your home will always be well lit when the sun goes down. Well-lit houses deter burglars because it’s easier for someone to see what they’re doing.

Lock up

This is the most obvious advice, but it’s also the easiest way to keep your home and valuables safe. Take a moment before you leave to check all doors and windows to make sure they’re locked. As mentioned, unplug and lock the garage door. Take extra precautions you might not on a typical day. This includes putting a stop bar in the track of any sliding doors, locking any door leading from the house to the garage and putting a padlock on the gate to the backyard. You can even lock screen doors.

Having an alarm system installed in your home is another great way to stay secure even when you’re out. At BSG in San Antonio, we can even help integrate your security system with your smartphone so you can check in on your home from anywhere. Call Today 855-MYSMARTHOME and we’ll help outfit your home or business with the security tools you need.