HOW TO STOP BURGLARS IN THEIR TRACKS WHILE ON VACATION February 27, 2023 | Home Inspection , Safety | spring , summer , home security Between work, school, family, and friends, life gets busy! You work hard, and you deserve a nice long break from time to time. But leaving your home for an extended period of time can be stressful. After a relaxing trip, no one wants to return home to discover a break-in or a maintenance disaster. Taking some precautions prior to your time away is the best way to ensure you’ll have peace of mind to enjoy your vacation to its fullest! Recently, insurance experts at The Zebra compiled the latest statistics regarding burglaries in the United States. According to their research , 2.5 million burglaries occur annually in the U.S. In other words, there are new victims of home break-ins every 26 seconds. Solid home security should be a priority for all homeowners. The good news is that there are proven strategies to keep your home safe and your valuables secure while you take that next trip. Here are a few strategies every homeowner should consider to keep their home secure while it's empty. Invest in a Security System The best thing that any homeowner can do is to get a smart home security system. According to an article from Forbes , 83% of burglars will check for signs of a security camera or system before attempting a break-in. In those situations where a security camera was spotted, 60% of burglars will move on to another target. While security systems are great for catching would-be thieves, their presence alone works as an effective deterrent. For homeowners looking to avoid the cost of installing a smart security system, consider setting up a fake camera during your next trip or attach stickers to your windows that say your home is being monitored. The mere allusion of alarms or surveillance could be enough to scare would-be burglars. While systems with cameras, motion sensors, and direct contact to the authorities are obviously preferable, faking it is better than nothing. Shed Some Light Motion sensor lights for porches and outdoor areas may seem like a great idea to frighten off intruders. However, it might be surprising to hear that the majority of break-ins don’t happen at night. Many home burglaries are spontaneous and take place during the day when owners are thought to be at work. In fact, the most common time periods for break-ins are between 10 am and 3 pm. The best way to utilize lights for home security is actually through timers. Light sensors and timers are fairly inexpensive and simple to install. Homeowners can use security lights most effectively by setting them to turn on randomly, simulating activity in their home. Timers that automatically turn lights on at night or in odd areas can signal to potential intruders that the activity isn’t authentic, and may not avert a break-in attempt. The key to home security while you are away is to make it seem like you’ve never left. Hire a House Sitter Ultimately, the best thing that homeowners can do to secure their homes and their belongings during long trips is to hire a trusted individual to house-sit. Technology can fail and simulated activity can be identified by savvy thieves. Unmowed lawns, piling mail, and unattended trash bins are all sure signs that a home is vacant. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a trusted neighbor, homes that are regularly monitored have the best chances of maintaining their security. Homeowners can also rely on their local NPI home inspector for assistance. Through National Property Inspections’ Home Watch program, vacationers can secure the home with the help of experts that know what to do when problems arise. Home inspectors know how to handle a leak and check in on regular maintenance tasks. Just as you trust a home inspector to investigate the condition of your new home, you can trust them to keep your home secure while you’re away. To learn more about NPI’s Home Watch services, contact your local home inspection expert! And as always, remember to use National Property Inspections to check in on your home’s condition annually.