Invest in professionally installed security cameras
A handful of well-placed security cameras on the outside of your home can mean the difference between deterring a break-in or not. Security cameras will offer users the ability to activate alerts indicating unauthorized movement in specific areas around your home. The camera system will send push notifications directly to your smartphone or tablet allowing you to assess, validate and react.
Beware of social media
Don’t put anything on your voicemail, email auto-reply, or social media indicating you’ll be gone. It’s tempting to post your vacation photos in the moment, but your safest bet is to wait until after you return home. If you can’t resist, make sure your posts are viewable only to friends and don’t mention the exact dates you’ll be gone. Keep your usual voicemail or answering machine message, and make your personal or work email auto-reply message vague.
Make it look like someone is home
To make it look like someone’s home, create a smart lighting system that you can pre-program to turn on at varied times while you’re away. Turning on a radio is another classic technique, and if you want to get fancy, connect the radio to an appliance timer and coordinate it with the lights.
Ask a friend or neighbor to check-in
Have someone stop by from time to time to check for signs of attempted entry, burst pipes, or any other potential problems. Ask them to park in the driveway, adjust some blinds or maybe move some patio furniture so it’s clear from the outside that there is someone around.
Suspend mail and newspaper delivery
An overflowing mailbox and a pile of newspapers are sure signs that no one’s home. You can sign up online to have Canada Post hold your mail at your local post office for 30 days. For trips longer than 30 days, you should set up mail forwarding or arrange for someone else to pick it up for you.
Have someone take out the trash
Having a garbage bin sitting in front of your home for days after the scheduled pick screams that nobody is home. If garbage day comes while you’re on vacation ask a neighbor if they can pull your bins out and bring them back in after it has been picked up.
Hire someone to remove snow
An un-shoveled driveway or sidewalk can be a strong indicator that no one is home. Before you leave on vacation try to make arrangements to have a service take care of the home so it looks occupied.