5 Tips to Protecting Your Home While You’re Away


Making your home seem lived in while you’re away is key to avoiding potential break-ins and thefts. Intruders are much less likely to break in if they believe you’re home. Some tips we’ve prepared for you might seem a little obvious, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little reminder. 

According to Stats Can, there’s an average of one break-in every three minutes in Canada. But don’t worry, with these 5 tips and tricks, you’ll effectively turn away criminals.

yellow home with shackles

Here are the 5 tips to protecting your home while you’re away: 

1. Put your lights on a timer

To give passersby the impression that someone’s home during your holiday, it’s important that the usual lights you have on are turned on even when you’re gone! Besides regular old-fashioned timers, there are many new technologies out there to help you properly manage your lighting needs. 

Smart automated systems are increasingly affordable and offered by a wide variety of companies – like the HomeKit by Apple or even the SmartThings Hub by Samsung. There are also lesser known products like Wink or Insteon. All these systems allow you to control your home’s lighting with the simple press of a button on a phone app. If This Then That (IFTTT) is also a great tool to automate and create conditions for automation. For instance, you can ask it the following: “If the sensors can tell I am not home, turn off the basement lights at 9:05 pm and turn them back on at 9:25 pm; also, play music between 6 pm and 8:30 pm” to make it seem like someone is home. 

hand holding an iphone near a laptop with an app on screen

2. Ask your neighbours to make tire tracks and footprints in the snow during the winter holidays

To make it seem that people have come and gone from your home while you’re actually away, let your neighbours know that you’re gone and ask them to make tire tracks or footprints on your property. Although it seems like such an insignificant task, it can make all the difference in making your home look lived in while you’re on holiday. 

footprints and tire tracks in snow

3. Don’t post holiday photos on social media while you’re away

Thieves have so many tricks up their sleeves! Most of them walk around residential neighbourhoods during the holiday season to see whether there seems to be people home or not. If they notice that a house seems to be unoccupied for a little while, they can easily look up the homeowner’s name and then find their social media profiles. Once they’re on your profile, if they see that you’ve been posting that you’re on a beach for the last couple of days, you’ll be confirming to them that you aren’t in town. Even a simple status update like “Gone to Mexico – enjoy the snow guys!” is a dead giveaway. Updating your followers/friends can be very tempting, but restrain from doing so! Don’t become an easy target because of social posting temptations.

family on vacation standing on the beach

4. Make sure your home’s temperature remains around 15°C

The last thing you want when coming back from vacation is finding water damage. Ensuring your home’s temperature remains around 15°C or more ensures pipes won’t burst. They won’t have enough time to go through a freeze-thaw cycle if ever your neighbourhood was to lose power for a little while during colder months. 

thermostat set at 19 degrees

5. Be discrete when leaving

As mentioned, some criminals wander through neighbourhoods when it’s the holiday season. If they happen to be passing by and notice you leaving with rather big luggage, they’re likely to realize you’ll be gone for quite a while. So, be sure to be discrete when leaving. Also, stay vigilant and check whether there are some unknown faces walking around outside before loading up the car! 

dog in car trunk ready for a holiday

Although being 100% sure that you’re home will be protected by any kind of disaster isn’t possible, taking the necessary precautions definitely helps. 

Don’t get over-worried about your home when leaving on holiday. As long as you follow these tips and tricks, you’ll be good to go. 

Happy holidays! 

Eric Perigny