Pre-Vacation Checklist: Home Security

As enjoyable as vacations can be, it is hard not to worry a little about your home and your valuables while you are out of town. An empty house is a much easier target than a busy one. With some common sense preparation, however, you can deter would-be burglars and concentrate on enjoying your adventures.

It doesn't matter if you're heading to Europeor driving only a few hours away from home. When you know you will be gone for more than a few days, there are several things you can do to prepare your home to discourage burglars.


Exterior lighting, whether on a timer or motion sensor, is a great deterrent. Visibility is highly undesirable for would-be thieves, so make their job as difficult as possible.

To make your home look less deserted, leave lights on inside. For the best effect, utilize timers so a few different lights are turning off and on throughout the day and night.

Leave the TV On

Got the lights under control? Take it to the next level by adding your television into the mix. Many newer models allow you to schedule a time to turn the television on and off. If closed curtains prevent the television from being effective, consider the pros and cons before utilizing it. If the TV is upstairs, you may benefit from it being visible through the window. If, however, it's in a main room downstairs, it's probably better to keep the blinds closed than to do the TV trick. Use your best judgment.

Don't Let Mail Pile Up

Ask a neighbor to collect mail, or visit Australia Post and setup a hold on your mail while you're out of town. If you ask a neighbor, be sure they are one you trust to watch over your home without telling the whole world you're gone.

Don't Broadcast Your Absence

Would you take out a full page ad in your local paper saying your house would be unoccupied and vulnerable during your vacation dates? Of course not. So, why would you advertise the same via social media? Tempting though it may be, don't post public statuses about your vacation plans. If you can, wait until you return home to post any photos and dish on your adventures. If you can't wait, be sure you've reviewed the privacy settings on any social networks you use. Know who you're sharing with so you know how much to share.

Do Secure the House

Walk through the house before you leave and lock all windows and doors. Upstairs and down. If you have a security system, be sure it is fully functional and your arming and disarming codes have been recently updated. To learn more about the various types of systems: from DIY to professionally installed, visit

A home security system can give you added peace of mind and may earn you a discount on your homeowner's insurance policy.

We have an awesome house thanks to awesome people and we moved in 8 weeks early!"

Alison & Scott

You can tell a good builder by the after sales service... yours has been great!"

Lee & Kathy

Our house started at the same time as our neighbour. We have had a dream run, moved in early and would build with Abode again. Our neighbour doesn't have the same feelings for their builder."