Tickets booked, bags packed, house… cleaned? Sometimes, it’s the most obvious things that are the most effective in keeping your home safe while you’re away. There are a few simple things you can put into motion before heading out of town that will act as an intruder deterrent, starting with:

Clean It Up!

Now we know you haven’t even left yet, but imagine arriving home to clean floors, tidy rooms and fresh sheets. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Just a bonus to cleaning up inside and out before you leave. The real reason to mow the lawn and clean up yard tools and stray kids’ toys is because nothing tells strangers “nobody’s home” like yard debris that hasn’t moved in days and an unkempt lawn. Not to mention you’ll immediately notice if anything is amiss when you return if things are in order before you go.

Windows & Doors

You’d think this one would be obvious, but locking doors and windows isn’t something everyone remembers; especially if you’re in a ‘safe’ neighbourhood. Consider placing a blocker in the sliding door track to prevent forced entries, and deadbolts on the doors are always a good idea as extra protection.

Perimeter Check

A well-lit entryway isn’t a thief’s best friend, but it is yours. Whether on timer or not, perimeter lighting tends to make intruders shy away. Checking out the the view of your home from the street or yard is worth the extra five minutes. Can you see expensive electronics and artwork? Consider securing your most valuable belongings out of sight. Another trick is to unplug the power to your automatic garage to prevent thieves from using a universal remote and gaining access that way, and always lock the door into the garage from your home.

Make It Appear That You’re Home

Resist the urge to share those all-important vacation details on social media! Same goes for outgoing answering machine messages broadcasting no one’s home. They’re a virtual “welcome” sign to criminals to break in. Alert neighbourhood watch by entrusting a neighbour you know to keep your stoop clear of newspapers and pick up the mail. If your trip happens to coincide with trash day, have them put out and pick up the containers again; left out too long, and it’s a dead giveaway no one is home. You can also install timers for indoor lights, radios, and televisions.


Whether a few days or a few weeks, the same rules apply. The more you can prep beforehand to make it seem like someone’s home, the better chances you have of returning to your home the same way you left it. Safety first!

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