Thief in the night with moon in the background

You’ve packed your bags, double checked your flight time, and tucked your passport into your bag. Remember to safeguard your home from potential burglars before you sip a frosty beverage on a sandy beach. Here are some smart ways to protect your home:


• Lock up

This might sound overly obvious, but make sure you’ve secured all door and window locks, including night locks when you leave.

• Put Lights on Timers

A well-lit home should detract potential burglars so set timers on lights to go on and off when you’d normally be home.

Stack of mail

• Make Sure Your Mail Doesn’t Pile up

A pile of newspapers on your front porch or an over-stuffed mailbox are sure signs that no one has been home for a while. Have a trusted friend or neighbor collect your mail and any packages once a day or every few days to make it look like someone is home. Putting a stop on your mail isn’t necessarily a smart idea because your mail carrier will know you’re away.

• Keep a Car Parked in the Driveway

Your empty driveway can be a signal that your home is empty too. Make arrangements with a neighbor or friend to park in your driveway randomly during the day or overnight when they arrive home each day.

• Keep Your Curtains or Blinds as You Normally do

If you normally keep your blinds open but close them when you’re on vacation, this is an obvious signal that something is different. Keep them as you normally do to not attract unwanted attention.

• Ask a Trusted Neighbor to Keep an Eye on Your Home

Let your neighbors know you’re going out of town and leave them your contact information. They know the neighborhood so are well-suited to spot any out of the ordinary activity.

Lawn mower

• Make Sure Your Home Looks Kept

If it’s winter and you’re expecting snow, arrange for a neighbor to clear your driveway (this will also be a nice treat when you arrive home and can easily pull in your driveway). If you expect to be gone more than a week in the spring or summer, arrange to have your lawn cut.

• Consider Hiring a House-sitter

One of the best ways to avoid worrying about your home while you’re away is hiring someone you trust to stay at your home while you’re away. This can be especially helpful if you also have pets, so you can avoid the hassle and fees associated with boarding.

• Turn Off Electric Garage Door Openers

This will reduce the risk of a burglar attempting to enter your garage using a universal electric remote.

• Avoid Posting Your Plans and Whereabouts on Social Media

You’re excited about your trip, but avoid posting the details of your trip including when you’re leaving and where you’re going. Only tell a few trusted people about your plans, and save vacation photos for your return.

• Install a Security System

This will not only protect your home when you’re away but also when you’re home.

• Let the Local Police Know

If you live in a small town and will be away more than a week, there’s no harm in letting them know you’ll be away. When they have some downtime, the local police can take a quick cruise past your home to make sure everything looks okay.



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Meet Katie

Picture of Katie Clancy, Agent and CEO of The Cape House in Cape Cod MAMother. Singer. Runner. Dog Parent. Realtor. Speaker. Cape Cod Local Expert. When I want the freshest oysters, I don’t go to the fish counter at the grocery store; I go to John, the East Dennis oyster guy. When my husband wants a perfectly tailored suit, we don’t go to the mall; we go to Puritan Clothing in Hyannis. When I want the best chocolate this side of the Alps I don’t go to the candy store, I go to The Hot Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans. A Cape Codder since I was a kid, I can find you the right house, bank, builder, school, auto mechanic, and yes, even the right oyster guy.


This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.