12 Tips For Home Safety While You’re Away
Several times I have shared tips on how to keep you and your RV safe from criminals while on the road and in the boondocks. As I shared, statistically, you are very unlikely to have an issue while RVing.
Unless you are a full-time RVer, the next concern is how safe is your home while you are out on the road RVing? Here are 12 home safety tips that will make your house less attractive to burglars while you are away.
1. Have someone house sit in your absence.
2. Let a trusted neighbor know when you will be gone and ask them to keep an eye on your home, pick up newspapers or other delivered items, and maybe mow your lawn to give it an occupied look.
3. Stop your mail, newspaper, and anything else that might pile up in your absence.
4. Set lights on timers to mimic your normal routine.
5. Install exterior motion lights that will activate when motion is detected.
6. If your local law enforcement offers a vacation home check, take advantage of it.
7. Install a wireless motion sensor on the exterior of your home that will activate any 120-volt item within your home when motion is detected. It can be hooked up to turn on a TV, radio, lamp, etc. in your house to make it appear someone is home when a burglar approaches.
8. Install annunciators around the exterior of your house (driveway, walkways, undercover areas, or other areas burglars are likely to pass by when casing your home). The audible sound will let them know they have been detected and hopefully convince them to leave. After all, if they can hear it, the neighbors probably can too.
9. Wireless cameras and doorbells like the Ring can send an alert to your smartphone when motion or noise is detected in or around your home. Be sure to know the non-911 number for the law enforcement agency in your hometown as calling 911 when you are a hundred miles from home isn’t the most efficient way of dispatching law enforcement to your house.
10. If you don’t want to be bothered by alerts to your smartphone at 2:00 in the morning when small mammals enter your yard, you might consider displaying fake cameras on the exterior of your home as a deterrent rather than the real thing.
11. Bar your doors and windows to make it more difficult for a burglar to gain access to your home.
12. Install deep-throw deadbolts and reinforced strike plates on all entry doors to make your doors harder to force open.
By implementing some of these home safety tips, you will make your home less attractive to potential burglars. Enjoying peace of mind that your home is safe in your absence, just another adventure in RVing.
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.
I saw a tip 0n using a fake tv so I ordered one online. It plugs into a timer. The device is small. You can hold it in one hand.
My wife’s sewing room faces out to the carport and her curtain there is not too thick to allow the light from the device to go out. I had it set for 3 a.m. because that’s when this trespasser had come around before. One night the surveillance cam showed him walking up the carport between the cars. Just then it showed the fake tv switch on thru the curtain. The guy saw
it and did a quick about face and left . It worked and faked out one perp, at least. I put my pistol away and called the police. They never found him but at least let them know who’s operating in the area. BTW I follow some of the tips in the article and plan to implement a couple more. Very practical article.
If you do well checks on your home by the police this keeps the street you live on very safe. No one will consider breaking into your home because the neighbors will wonder why the police are on the block. Otherwise there are the video doorbells that really keep watch.
Barbara Abel says
Very good points! And although this might be too obvious….wait to post your travel photos to facebook once you return! And don’t share your travel plans on social media ahead of time either. One more – not so much for ‘safety’ but for peace of mind. If you have a well/pump, shut the pump off (and the water heater) before you leave. At the very least, turn off the faucets to your washer. …could save you having a flood while you are away.
My house has a history of Polybutyl water line issues. We’ve since had that fixed, but now we have the occasional faucet cartridge go bad, so we just shut off the whole house water system.
I’m working on a hack for some water sensors for under the sinks now.
Peace of mind if we are or aren’t there.
Verle W says
If you need to do all this, you should probably move to a better neighborhood!
Eileen Woodard says
There’s crimr in the nicest of neighborhoods.
All my federal, state, and local LEO friends caution not to stop mail, papers, etc. People working at those services are often tipping off burglars when a family is gone. Even some LEOs have had bad tendencies. I don’t even have a mailbox in front f my house. Never could stop USPS junk mail from spilling out causing a “empty home” alert. ALL deliveries go to a secure address with known security…no connection to my home/business addresses. Have exterior vehicles moved periodically, and snow plowed and/or tracks generated in the snow.
Jim Phillips says
Didn’t see anything about security systems. I installed SimpliSafe, no contract to sign, good cameras, water sensor, breaking glass sensor, siren and motion detectors.
C. Todd says
Place old giant-sized spiked logging boots and a wolf-sized empty dog dish on the porch. (That wolf may be nearby and hungry).