Vacations and Home Security

Protecting Your Haven While You’re Away

The anticipation of any vacation is a delightful feeling, but it’s essential not to let excitement overshadow the importance of securing your home while you’re away. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, taking proactive measures to protect your home can provide peace of mind and safeguard your property from potential break-ins. In this article, we offer some helpful guidance on securing your home during your vacation and discuss how certain security measures that you put in place can lower your insurance premiums.

1. Secure All Entry Points

One of the fundamental steps in home security is ensuring that all entry points are locked and secure. This includes doors, windows, garage doors, and even pet entrances. Before leaving for your vacation, go through your home and double-check that all locks are in working order.

  • Install Deadbolt Locks: Deadbolt locks are more secure than standard locks and can deter potential burglars.
  • Secure Sliding Doors: Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Install a bar or rod in the track to prevent them from being forced open.
  • Window Locks and Reinforcements: Ensure that all windows are equipped with locks. You can also add window film to reinforce the glass against break-ins.

2. Don’t Announce Your Absence

Avoid broadcasting your vacation plans on social media or in public spaces where potential thieves could overhear. Sharing your absence can make your home an easy target.

  • Set Social Media to Private: Adjust your social media privacy settings to limit who can see your posts.
  • Hold Mail and Deliveries: Contact your local post office to hold your mail and ask a neighbor to pick up any packages delivered while you’re away.
  • Use Timers for Lights: Set timers for your lights to give the appearance that someone is home. Randomize the timers for a more realistic effect.

3. Enlist Help from Neighbors or Friends

Having a trusted neighbor or friend keep an eye on your home can be invaluable. They can report any suspicious activity and help with small tasks like watering plants or clearing your driveway.

  • Exchange Contact Information: Share your contact information with your neighbor or friend, and ask them to keep you updated if anything unusual occurs.
  • Leave a Spare Key with Someone You Trust: If you need someone to access your home while you’re away, give a spare key to a trustworthy friend or neighbor rather than hiding it outside.

4. Install a Home Security System

Investing in a home security system is an effective way to protect your home. Modern systems offer features like surveillance cameras, motion detectors, and remote monitoring.

  • Security Cameras: Visible cameras act as a deterrent. Place them at entry points and in key areas around your property.
  • Alarm System: Install an alarm system that triggers an audible alert and notifies you or a security company in case of a break-in.
  • Remote Access: Opt for a security system with remote access so you can monitor your home from your smartphone or computer.

5. Secure Valuables

Protect your valuable possessions by storing them in a secure location or a home safe.

  • Lock Up Jewelry and Important Documents: Keep valuable items and important documents in a home safe or a bank safe deposit box.
  • Inventory Your Belongings: Create an inventory of your possessions, including photographs and descriptions. This can be helpful in case of theft or damage for insurance claims.

6. Inform Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company to inform them of your vacation plans. They may have specific requirements or recommendations for securing your home during your absence.

  • Vacation Endorsement: Some insurance companies offer vacation endorsements that provide additional coverage during your time away.
  • Discounts for Security Measures: Certain security measures, such as installing a security system or deadbolt locks, may qualify you for discounts on your insurance premiums.

7. Outdoor Security Measures

Don’t forget about securing the exterior of your home.

  • Motion-Activated Lighting: Install motion-activated lighting around your property to deter intruders.
  • Trim Bushes and Shrubs: Overgrown vegetation can provide cover for burglars. Trim plants near windows and entry points.
  • Secure Outdoor Items: Lock up bikes, grills, and other valuable outdoor items in a shed or garage.

8. Check Your Insurance Coverage

Before leaving for your summer vacation, review your homeowners’ insurance policy to understand your coverage and ensure it’s up to date.

  • Coverage for Personal Belongings: Confirm that your policy adequately covers personal belongings, especially if you’ve acquired valuable items since your last policy review.
  • Liability Coverage: Check your liability coverage to ensure you’re protected in case someone is injured on your property.

9. Smart Home Technology

Consider integrating smart home technology for added security and convenience.

  • Smart Locks: Install smart locks that allow you to control access remotely and receive alerts when someone enters or exits.
  • Smart Thermostat: Adjust your thermostat remotely to save energy and maintain the appearance of an occupied home.

10. Emergency Contacts and Authorities

Leave emergency contact information with a trusted friend or neighbor. Provide them with details on how to reach you in case of an emergency, and instruct them on when to call the authorities if they notice anything suspicious.

Lowering Insurance Premiums with Enhanced Security

Incorporating advanced security measures into your home can not only protect your property but also potentially lower your homeowners’ insurance premiums. Insurance companies often offer discounts to policyholders who take steps to reduce risks.

Here are some security measures that may lead to lower insurance premiums:

  • Security System: Installing a monitored security system can result in significant discounts.
  • Deadbolt Locks: Upgrading to deadbolt locks can make your home more secure and may qualify you for a discount.
  • Smoke and Fire Alarms: Having smoke and fire alarms can enhance safety and reduce insurance costs.
  • Storm Shutters: If you live in an area prone to severe weather, storm shutters may lower your premiums.
  • Home Monitoring Services: Subscription services that provide 24/7 monitoring and emergency response can result in insurance discounts.


Securing your home during your vacation is essential to protect your property and provide peace of mind. By taking proactive steps to fortify your home’s security, you can reduce the risk of break-ins and potentially lower your insurance premiums. Remember that a well-protected home not only safeguards your possessions but also ensures that you return to a safe and welcoming haven after your vacation adventures.