Summer is almost here, and some of the Sterling Homes team will be heading off on summer vacation. That got us thinking… Whether you are still trying to sneak in a summer getaway, or going away later in the year, home security is always an important consideration.

Of course, the best way to secure your home is to not leave it empty. If you have a person who can stay in your house while you’re away, do it. Also if you have pets at home, consider having someone come and stay with them, instead of packing them off to a kennel.

If you can’t do the above, the following are simple measures you can implement to better secure your home – while you rest easy on vacation or visit the cottage.

  • Walk around your home and try and think like a burglar. Are there any points of entry that might be easily breached? If yes, fix them immediately.
  • Leaving for an extended time? Be sure to call your mail carrier and suspend service. You can do the same for newspapers, but asking a trusted neighbor to pick up mail, as a back up is a good idea too.
  • Arrange to have someone cut your grass or take out the garbage if you will be gone for a week or more. Consider installing solar lights in your garden or motion-sensor flood lights. They come on nightly and can give the illusion of someone being home. Likewise, burglars prefer dark places where they are easily concealed, brightening up your outside acts as a deterrent.
  • Put your lights and television on timers that better reflect normal routines. If you regularly turn a certain light on at evening, make sure it still flips on periodically when you are not at home.
  • Don’t publicize that you will be away to anyone but a trusted neighbor and close family. Shy away from tweeting or commenting on Facebook, unless someone is staying at your house while you’re away. Do not leave a voicemail greeting noting your vacation.
  • Use a bolted safe, or rent a safety deposit box for major valuables. Hide other valuables out of sight.
  • Don’t forget to lock up sheds – especially if they offer easy access to tools that might help burglars get into your house.
  • If you are packing your car for a longer road trip, do the packing in the garage.
  • Alarm systems are always a helpful deterrent – even more so if you have a big sticker on your door that warns a would-be thief that loud noises will be involved if they try to enter. Be sure to switch the alarm on when leaving.
  • Lock the garage door, and unplug the automatic opener.
  • Resist the temptation to draw the blinds. The trick is to appear as though you are still at home. Any change to your normal activity will be a beacon to a burglar.