The clock’s winding down before you go traveling abroad. You’ve spent months clicking through language learning applications, unburied your passport from the bottom of that drawer in your closet, and finalized your overseas itinerary. You might think you’re in the clear and ready to enjoy your vacation, but have you thought about your home’s security? What’s your game plan for monitoring things back at home while you’re trying to pronounce “paella” to a waiter in Spain? If you’ve got nothing down in your home security game book, we’ve got you covered. Here are 5 easy ways you can secure your home before traveling abroad:

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Reach Out To a Trusty Neighbor

Are you close with any of your neighbors? Yes? Good, because now is the time to take advantage of all the times you stood with them by the mailbox discussing how bad the traffic’s getting in the morning. Use your bond to see if they’d be willing to check on your house from time to time while you’re away. Try setting up a system where they can keep you updated on how things are looking at the house. Establish guidelines for when they should notify the police if an emergency were to happen in your absence.

Because overflowing mailboxes are often a sign that the resident is not at home, have your neighbor drop by to pick up the mail and hold it in safekeeping while you’re traveling abroad.

Put Your Lights on a Timer

You might not be home, but that doesn’t mean everyone who drives by your property should be able to tell. Conceal your absence by keeping your home illuminated. You can do this by setting some lights in your home on a timer. This trick works best for lights close to windows or with fixtures near the front of your house. Once you have the timer and identified where it needs to go, program the device so your lamps will power on right as it gets dark outside. For added protection, have the lamps switch on at different times throughout the day so strangers can’t catch on. If you have curtains, draw them back just a bit so the glow of the light is more visible.

For the outdoors, you can keep potential burglars at bay with timers designed just for outdoor fixtures. Many of these systems are waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about a big storm blowing your cover.

Put Your Television on a Timer, Too

Just like lights, the glow from a television screen is a nice indicator that someone is probably home. Many televisions have built-in timers that you can adjust ahead of time. The television’s sound and light can keep unwanted visitors aware of your family’s travels.

Front of a white house with pillars

Keep Your Landscape Trimmed

Often, when a family is away their landscape gets the cold shoulder. This might not seem like a big deal, but tall and unkempt grass is an easy sign a burglar or other unwanted guests can use to spot a vacant property. If you’re leaving the country for an extensive period, trim your bushes and mow your lawn a few days before leaving. This reduces the odds of your landscape growing enough to give away hints of your vacation.

Use a Security Camera

Sometimes, it’s just nice to see for yourself what’s going on back home. With a security camera, you can do just that.

Before leaving for the airport, take some time to research and find the right security cameras for your needs. Many indoor security cameras are tiny and can fit just about anywhere in your home. This includes bookshelves, bedside tables, or that tiny spot by the potted plant in the kitchen. With two-way voice audio, you can scare off intruders while the camera’s sharp vision grants a clear view of your home. Night-vision keeps these cameras working past sunset, so you can keep track of your home at all hours of the day. This is especially useful if you’re traveling to a country with a large time difference.

Outdoor security cameras are great for keeping track of anything happening in your front lawn, backyard or that awkward space back by your garbage bins. Take some time to shop for cameras with a wide vision range to spot suspicious activity from every corner. Some outdoor security cameras have different skins available for your family to choose from. This makes concealing your camera outdoors much easier. Before you install your camera, make sure its location is one that can provide you with ultimate surveillance.

The post 5 Easy Ways You Can Secure Your Home Before Traveling Abroad appeared first on Protect America Blog.

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