Going on vacation should be a relaxing time between you and your loved ones. Make your time away from home as stress-free as possible by locking your doors, turning off unnecessary appliances and installing a home security system before you leave.

Deter burglars from coming near your house by making sure it looks like you’re still home. You can also limit the energy your property uses while you’re away to save money and prevent damage. These 11 home security tips should help you prepare for your vacation so you can enjoy your time with your family or friends.

1. Pause Mail and Newspaper Deliveries

A full mailbox can let the whole neighborhood know you’re not home. Before you leave, go on the United States Postal Services (USPS) website and request they hold your mail during your vacation to make it look like you’re still collecting mail. You may also ask a trusted neighbor to pick up your mail or packages for you. Along with clearing out your mailbox or stopping mail deliveries altogether, you can suspend newspaper services or have someone pick up your newspaper for you.

2. Maintain Your Lawn and Home’s Exterior

Your landscaping can start to get unruly if you’re going to be away for several weeks. Mow your lawn and trim your shrubbery before you leave so it continues to look neat while you’re on vacation. Consider hiring a landscaping service team to come to your house and continue to take care of your lawn. You could also ask your neighbor or a nearby relative to maintain your yard for you. In the winter, hire someone to shovel the snow after a storm.

Consider cleaning out your gutters before you leave for your vacation, as well. Rain or snow can accumulate in these draining systems and wear them down, resulting in costly damage. Having clogged drain gutters would also let burglars know you’re not home to maintain them.

3. Leave Cars in the Driveway

If you won’t need your car because you’re flying to your destination, leave it in the driveway to make it look like someone is still home while you’re away. Burglars won’t visit your house if they think you’re still inside. Consider requesting an airport shuttle to take you to the airport instead of driving. Just ensure your car is locked before you leave. You can also ask your neighbors or nearby friends or family to park their car in your driveway if you need to bring yours with you.

4. Lock Doors and Windows

As you pack up your luggage and leave for the airport or car, it’s easy to forget to lock your doors and windows. Go through your house and make sure all the entry points — including pet doors — are sealed to secure your home before your vacation. Remember to lock the windows on your upper floors to keep out burglars, climbing pests and weather damage. You may also want to put a rod in your sliding glass door’s track so no one can open the door from the outside.

5. Secure Valuable Belongings

While you’re away, keep your valuables out of sight so burglars aren’t attracted inside. Close the blinds in rooms with TVs and other large electronics that burglars can see through the window. Store gaming consoles and DVD players in a hidden box in the closet, as well. You can also get a safe for further protection of the jewelry, family heirlooms and important documents you can’t afford to lose.

6. Avoid Leaving Your Keys Outside

You may have your house keys hidden around the outside of your property to use in case you lock yourself out. While you’re away, burglars may look around your home for hidden keys to gain access inside. Consider having a trusted friend or neighbor hold onto your spare keys for you. It also helps to avoid giving them to anyone you don’t know well. Anyone can easily make a quick copy of your key to use when you’re on vacation.

Consider getting a sturdy master key system that opens the locks in your front, back or side door with one master key. Since this durable hardware only needs one opener, you don’t have to keep track of a large set of spare keys.

7. Wait to Post on Social Media Until You Come Home

You may want to post your vacation photos while you’re away, but it’s best to wait until you get home to share your experience publicly. Criminals can look on your social media page and discover you’re not home. Even if your pictures and posts are only visible to friends and people you know, you should wait to post until you return. Avoid posting about the exact dates you’ll be away from home before you leave, as well.

Besides refraining from posting about your trip on social media, keep your email autoreply message vague at work. You should also avoid changing your voicemail or home phone’s answering machine instead of giving too much information to callers. Your kids, family members and/or friends should follow these rules, too, as you prepare to go on vacation.

8. Turn off Your Water Supply and Heater

You probably won’t need water running through your home if you’re going to be away. Shut off your water supply while you’re on vacation to avoid potential flooding and save money on your bills. You can keep on your automated sprinkler system to maintain your lawn while turning off the water to your toilet, ice maker, dishwasher and washing machine.

It’s also helpful to switch your water heater to vacation mode before you leave to prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting. Modern water heaters have a preprogrammed vacation mode to keep the water at a reasonable temperature. You can set the water heater manually if your appliance doesn’t have this setting. It might be a good idea to keep the water on and have someone check on your house while you’re away if you live in a cold area where your pipes could freeze.

9. Adjust the Temperature on Your HVAC System

Besides turning off your water, you should turn off the HVAC system to save money on your energy bills, too. Your home’s indoor air doesn’t need to be comfortable until you get home. While on vacation, set your thermostat above 55 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to protect your pipes against freezing.

Consider installing a smart or programmable thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature from your phone while you’re away. A programmable thermostat follows a schedule, letting you program it to turn back on as you’re on your way home.

10. Set up Automatic Lights

Burglars tend to break into places through areas that are dark and out of sight. Install automatic outdoor lights near the back door or the side of the house that you can schedule to turn on and off at specific times. Programming your lights makes it look like you’re still home and can help you save money on lighting costs. Even when you’re not on vacation, automatic lights can help you when you’re returning from work and other activities late at night.

Timed lights inside the house activate your lamps and other light fixtures throughout the day so it looks like you’re home, even when you’re away. Consider setting your lights to turn on and off at sporadic times so people passing by think you’re manually activating them. You can also get motion-activated lights that turn on when someone or something walks by. Burglars won’t come near your property if they know you have lights that can expose their criminal activity on your property.

11. Have a Professionally Installed and Monitored Security System

Home security systems installed by professionals help prevent burglary and damage to your property. These devices give you the ultimate peace of mind as you leave for your trip. Our residential alarm systems from Prestige Security Solutions feature various security components that keep your home safe while you’re away on vacation. They can also connect to your mobile device so you can monitor your house from anywhere in the world.

Service any security systems you already have installed by checking their batteries or electrical connections. It’s also helpful to charge the backup batteries on your home security system with an electrical connection in case of a power outage. Replace aqny batteries with high-quality ones so they last for the duration of your whole trip.

Consider upgrading your home security system with the following components from Prestige Security Solutions.

Security Cameras

Have a professional from our company place security cameras in strategic areas throughout your property — both inside and outside — to monitor your home and catch any suspicious activity while you’re away. Instead of investing in a DIY video doorbell or security system, trust an expert to survey your house and develop a custom solution that optimizes camera angles and keeps your property safe.

Our security cameras come with the following features:

  • Pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras that detect motion
  • Still or fixed cameras
  • Night vision cameras
  • Ability to hear and speak into the camera
  • Weatherproof and vandal-resistant lens casings

Our security cameras can connect to your smartphone and other devices so you can control them from anywhere in the world. Have us strategically place cameras so you know who rings your doorbell or walks around your property. While you’re on vacation, you can check up on your home through your smartphone or mobile device to gain peace of mind. We also offer storage plans for your video clips and footage, letting you access them when you get back from your vacation.

Intrusion Alarms

Burglars may be able to enter your home by shattering the glass or trying to break through entry points. You can place particular detectors around your house that can alert you if someone gets inside. The following home intrusion alarms can catch criminals who may have found a way into your living space:

  • Glass break detector: A glass break sensor lets off a siren as soon as the glass in your door or window shatters.
  • Motion detector alarm: You can get motion detection alarms throughout your home that track anyone walking through your living space. The system will notify one of our operators if it detects motion to confirm with you whether there’s a burglar in your home or you have a pet wandering around.
  • Shock detector: A vibration sensor responds to vibrations and impacts against surfaces or entry points when a burglar tries to come inside.

Environmental Sensors

Besides security sensors that protect against criminals trying to break into your house, you’ll also need an environmental sensor to guard against potential hazards within your interior living space. Consider some of the following detectors we offer:

  • Carbon monoxide detector: This sensor detects unsafe carbon monoxide levels that could result from a gas leak.
  • Smoke and fire detector: This sensor will sound an alarm if there’s smoke around it that could indicate a fire somewhere in the home.
  • Water sensor: This device can determine if there’s too much moisture in the air, which could point to a broken pipe or appliance that has flooded your home. Consider installing water detectors in the areas of your property that are vulnerable to floods, such as your laundry room, kitchen or basement.
  • Temperature sensor: This detector can monitor drastic changes in temperature in your home that could damage temperature-sensitive items in your storage unit or freezer.

These devices will give you peace of mind, knowing you’ll be aware of any environmental changes or harmful substances in your home. With a connection to our alarm monitoring services, we’ll investigate every warning we receive from your intrusion and environmental sensors, especially when you’re away.

Home Monitoring System

A professional home monitoring system puts all your security components in one package. Our professionals at Prestige Security Solutions monitor the security devices in your home and promptly respond to any alerts. You can also get remote access to your security system to check on your house from your smartphone or other mobile devices.

Having a professional team monitoring your home while you’re away can give you peace of mind if you’ll be in an area with unreliable Wi-Fi or data. We’ll receive an alert if there’s suspicious activity in your house, and we’ll notify you right away to check if it’s a false alarm or an emergency.

Contact Us for a Free, No-Obligation Quote

Prestige Security Solutions provides residential and commercial alarm systems in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and beyond. Our home security systems will give you peace of mind as you enjoy your vacation with your loved ones. Instead of doing it yourself, a professional security system installation provides reliable, continuous protection for your home while you’re away.

Our solutions allow you to access your security system on your mobile device and check up on your property as needed. Contact us online for the most comprehensive security possible, or call 781-253-8877 for more information about what specific alarm systems we offer.