10 Tips For Keeping Doors And Your Home Safe During Holiday Travel

In just over 2 weeks, Halloween will have come and gone and we will be into November. You know what that means… Holiday season and for most of us, chaos if you are home or on the road this year. You will remember to get the vehicle serviced, re-schedule your hair appointment and put a hold on the gym membership while your on vacation, but do not forget about keeping your home safe.

Home security is more about being prepared and preventative than taking action once there has already been a break in. Heckard’s Door has replaced dozens of doors in homes that have been burglarized over the years and it is never a good thing to have to do. Heckard’s Door would prefer to only replace doors for those who want to replace doors, not those that are forced to because of a break in. So, here are 10 tips for keeping your home safe during your holiday vacation and travels.

1. Double check to make sure that all window and door locks are in proper working condition and are fully functional. If they are not, replace right away or fix as best as you can until you return. Do not forget about garage doors, pet doors and utility doors.

2. Put a temporary stop to all newspaper and mail deliveries or have a friend or neighbor pick them up for you so that you are not leaving a pile of stuff in front of your home to advertise to the bad guys that you are not home.

3. Place all major valuables in a safe that can’t be removed from the home, take them to a trusted friend for family member or put them in a safety deposit box so that if you do get broken into, your most valuable things are not taken.

4. Leave a few lights on and a few shades open. A house that looks locked up tight with no lights or shades open screams that you are out of town to potential threats.

5. Keep any normal home services going. If you get your lawn maitenence every two weeks, keep it that way. The more that things look to be in normal order, the less likely thieves are to set on your home. If you have pool service, have them keep coming on schedule. If you have a cleaning or maid service, either give them a key or install an electronic key pad device.

6. Stop by the police station or give them a call and ask them to step up patrol in your neighborhood and let them know that you will be out of town. It can’t hurt and keeps the awareness in the area higher. If a robber is looking for a neighborhood to pick, the one with the patrol car driving through will most likely not be selection.

7. If you have a vehicle that will stay at home while you are gone, leave it outside of the garage. The appearance that someone is home is the key to thwarting the break in and having a car parked outside is one of the easiest and most effective ways. Also, if you leave it near the start of the driveway, it is less likely that someone can act like they are parking there and are supposed to be there while they are actually casing the home. Be sure to remove any valuables from sight in the vehicle.

8. Try to arrange for someone to come by and check on the home periodically while you are away. Maybe a friend, relative or neighbor that can report to you or the police if they see anything out of the ordinary. If you will not be able to get phone calls or email, make sure that there is a contact number for someone.

9. Install timers on outside lights, especially the one by the front door and any lights that lead up to the front door. Setting timers to turn your radio or television on at random times is great too, just check all bulbs, batteries and connections first. A light coming on unexpectedly will almost certainly discourage a robber.

10. It will be tough, but try to refrain from letting the world know when you will be out of town. It is nice to boast on social media about the big trip coming up, but someone may see that and see an opportunity to take advantage of. It is scary to think, but it happens and more than you may think.

Obviously we hope that you never have any problems with home safety or security, but if you do see that you need to update your doors or door hardware, please contact Heckard’s Door. In Jacksonville at 904 370 4967 and in Gainesville at 352 376 0422 or visit us at www.heckardsdoor.com