Vacations are always an exciting time. You work hard all year, and now it’s time to let loose, see the world, or just spend some time with the family in a comfortable and familiar place.

But whether you’re going overseas or just to a quiet forest cabin in rural Ohio, the same question is going to come up: How do you secure your home while on vacation?

As an experienced home locksmith in Columbus, EB Locksmith helps lots of our customers get back into their homes with our house lockout service. But we also understand very well how to make sure unwanted guests STAY locked out. Here are some easy tips to secure your home while on vacation.

Set Your Lights on a Timer

The vast majority of burglaries and home break-ins happen while the home is vacant. That’s why it’s so important to take extra steps to secure your home while on vacation – you’re leaving your home vacant for an extended period of time.

That’s why many of the best ways to deter trespassers while you’re away is to avoid giving the impression that nobody is home. And the most straightforward way to do that is to turn the lights on.

Obviously, keeping the lights on the ENTIRE time you’re gone is going to hurt you in the electric bill, and may even pose a fire hazard. But if you can set a timer or smart device to turn your lights on for a few hours every day, it can go a long way to keeping your home safe during vacations.

Other variations of fooling potential invaders into thinking someone is home might include leaving a car in the driveway, arranging for lawn care while you’re gone, and pausing mail or newspaper delivery. Long grass and stacked newspapers in an empty driveway are sure signs of a vacant home.

Keep Your Vacation Plans Off Social Media

The thing about social media is that it’s not private, no matter how much you try to make sure it is. You may think it’s harmless to tell a few friends about your exciting vacation plans, but all it takes is a quick share or two to get that information in front of a bunch of people who don’t need to know about it.

This is ultimately the same concept as keeping your lights on a timer – the best way to secure your home while on vacation is to simply not publicly broadcast that you’re going to be away.

Remove Your “Secret” Keys

At this point, anyone who tries to break into your home is going to know all the usual spots for keeping a spare key. If you’re leaving a key under the doormat, under a potted plant, above the door frame, or any other common place like that, you may as well roll out the red carpet for them.

We understand why people leave these accessible spare keys – we are a house locksmith in Columbus, after all. Nobody wants to be locked out of their home because of a simple oversight – though we do have a house lockout service for this exact problem – but leaving keys in easy-to-find places will not secure your home while on vacation at all.

If you really want to find a good place for your spare keys, take them out from under the doormat and leave them with a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member. Bonus points if you can get them to check in on the house a couple times while you’re out.

Don’t have a spare key? No problem, simply contact our house locksmith service in Columbus so we can make you one (or more)!

Install a Camera (Even if It’s a Decoy)

By now you should be seeing a theme in these strategies to keep your home safe while on vacation. You deter potential burglars by removing any signs that your home will be an easy mark.

No simple house burglar wants to break in and start a fight – they want to sneak in while nobody is there and move around without anyone to catch them.

The idea for them is to get in and out unseen. But if there’s a security camera watching your doors, the “unseen” part gets much more complicated for them.

Obviously it’s best if you have an actual camera feed going while you’re out – especially one you can check remotely to make sure your home is secure while on vacation. But if that’s too expensive to buy or maintain, even mounting a dummy camera – one that isn’t connected or running – can often be enough to deter a break-in.

They might have a suspicion the camera isn’t working – much like they may suspect that the security system sign out in front of your home is just for show. But it’s difficult for them to be sure, and ultimately they are looking for the easiest home to break into.

Measures like this can secure your home while on vacation simply by making your home look like more trouble than it’s worth to get into. But of course, nothing is guaranteed, so…

Call a Residential Locksmith If Your Home Is Broken Into

The unfortunate reality is, sometimes even taking safety precautions won’t completely prevent a potential break-in while you’re away from home.

If your home has been broken into, or even if you suspect there might be a vulnerability, your first call (after the authorities, if need be) should be to your local residential locksmith.

Why call a locksmith in Columbus? If the lock on your door was forced, it may be damaged and need to be replaced. Even if it wasn’t, there may have been duplicate house keys around your house that could have been taken, giving the intruder easy access to your home later.

Contacting a locksmith in the Columbus area to replace your house locks and create new duplicate house keys can help protect you from a repeat invasion. Combined with other security measures, including upgraded modern home locks, it can also give you peace of mind and help you move past the traumatic event.

If you need to change a lock for security reasons, duplicate a house key, or you need a house lockout service, contact EB Locksmith today and let us keep you in your home, and unwanted visitors out of it.