Is Your Home Vacation Ready From a Security Standpoint?

As this post is being written, families across the country are thinking about their summer vacation plans. And why not? Spring is half spent and the kids are wrapping up the final days in school for this year. Everyone is looking forward to getting out and getting away. From a security standpoint, are you prepared for this year’s vacation?

Any plans to leave town should be accompanied by appropriate security measures before you leave. There is no better time than right now to begin looking at just how secure your home is. Make it vacation ready now, so you have one less thing to worry about in the days leading up to your trip.

What It Means to Be Vacation Ready

The principle of making your home vacation ready is not difficult to understand. Just step back and think of the potential problems that could pop up while you are away. From a security standpoint, several things come to mind: burglary, car theft, fire, and flood.

It is not possible to prevent every single problem that might come along. But homeowners can prevent most of them. And in the event thatsomething should still happen despite your best efforts, making a home vacation ready mitigates the damage. That is what it’s all about.

Making your home vacation ready is all about taking the necessary steps to reduce risk and damage. Where something like burglary or car theft is concerned, the goal is to make it as difficult as possible for a criminal to victimize you. For things like fire and flood, your main thrust would be to address those things that would keep risks to a minimum.

If You Have a Home Security System

Home Security System


A good place to start is by looking at your home security system – if you have one. It is easy to just assume your system is functioning as it should. But do not find out that it’s not when you’re 2,000 miles away at your favorite vacation destination. Take a good look at it now.

Vivint Home Security has a guide on their website discussing how their customers can make their homes vacation ready. A lot of what they talk about in that guide relates to video cameras. It is as good a place to start as any.

Check your video feeds to insure that your cameras:

  • Are still functioning properly.
  • Are still aimed correctly.
  • Are still sending live feeds you can check at will.

As you check your cameras, you may be made aware of the fact that important parts of your home are still left unprotected. Now is the time to invest in an extra camera or two capable of addressing those blind spots.

Check Windows and Doors


If you already have a home security system installed, you undoubtedly have sensors on your first-floor windows and doors. Check to make sure the sensors are all in good working order. They do wear out over time, especially if you frequently open your windows and doors. Some may need to be replaced.

While you’re at it, also check the locks. Make sure the locks on all first-floor doors are still secure. Make sure they sit firmly in place – they should not move or rattle. As for your windows, all the built-in locking mechanisms should be firmly seatedto the sashes. When you close and lock a window, you should get a tight fit. You can also add an extra lock to the window frame that prevents a window from being opened.

Take a Look at the Garage

Take a Look at the Garage


Strangely, the garage is often the forgotten stepchild of home security. Do not forget yours in the effort to make your home vacation ready. A typical garage has at least three entry points: the overhead door, a side door, and at least one window. Make sure all three points are secure.

On the day you leave for vacation, disconnect your automatic garage door opener (if you have one) and engage the manual lock. Why? Because a skilled burglar armed with little more than a wire coat hanger can disable most garage door openers in seconds.

For attached garages, also make sure that the door leading into the home can be properly secured with a heavy-duty lock. That door should also be fitted with a sensor if you already have a home security system installed.

Give the Yard a Once-over


In the weeks leading up to your vacation, give your yard a thorough once over. In other words, trim the trees and shrubs. Cut the grass and do the edging. Clean up the yard and make it look as pristine as possible. A well-kept yard suggests to burglars that you care enough about your property to take care of it. This tells them you may have security features in place.

It is especially important that passersby have a clear view of your home from the street while you are away. It’s also important that you don’t give burglars anything they can hide behind while lurking around and scoping out your house. So clean up the yard.

Check Your Smoke in Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Last but not least, test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are in good working condition. The smoke detectors are especially important given the fact that you have plans to be away. Detecting a fire early on gives your home security provider more opportunity to reach the fire department faster.

Carbon monoxide detectors are less important when there is no one home, but it’s still important to make sure they are in good working order. As long as you are testing the smoke detectors, you might just as well test the carbon monoxide detectors too.

As always, it’s smart to program lighting to make it appear as though someone is home. You might also ask your neighbors to keep an eye on things. The more you can do to prepare your property for vacation, the more you are likely to enjoy your time away.