Many Americans, especially retirees, leave their Northern state residences to occupy homes in the Sunbelt during harsh winters.

These “Snowbirds” head south between the months of November and Marchoften leaving permanent residences unoccupied.

If you fit this bill, be sure to implement the following safety precautions to keep your empty home safe in your absence. With the proper precautions in place, you can enjoy the pool without worry!

1. Maintain the Appearances of a Lived-In Home

Intruders have a keen eye for homes that seem to be vacant for a period of time. Tell-tale signs of an unlived in home include:

  • Piled up mail, packages and newspapers
  • Unattended landscaping
  • An absence of lights and activity

Before leaving, ensure your home looks occupied. Call upon neighbors and friends to collect mail and newspapers, or put a temporary hold on mail service. Hire landscapers to attend to your lawn and install a home automation solution to turn lights on and off.

An additional, easy deterrent for burglars is an alarm company sign. Make yours visual and prominent in your yard to ward off unwanted attention.

2. Prevent Entry

Next, stop those who attempt to enter your home from getting in.

Take advantage of motion sensor lights to scare intruders off your property. A triggered light will illuminate the suspect once they enter your yard. Many times, this alone is enough to scare them away.

In addition, make sure your home is sealed and difficult to penetrate. Sometimes, it is the most obvious prevention missteps that leave burglars with easy access. In fact, one third of break-ins are due to unforced entry—for example, doors and windows you may have forgotten to lock. Before you leave, walk through your home to check that all windows, doors and other points of entry are secure.

3. Install Advanced Security Surveillance

The final layer of protection is video surveillance and mobile monitoring. This allows you to keep a virtual eye on your property and belongs while you are away. If a break-in does occur, these systems alert both you and authorities so that action can be taken immediately. They can also provide you with valuable information, which in some cases can aid the police in the recovery of your possessions.

When comparing solutions, look for a provider that tailors the security system to your needs and home setup.

Image Source: Allie Gottlieb