A house may end up vacant for a variety of reasons. You may be transitioning between tenants, or it may be under construction. Vacant houses are especially vulnerable to theft and vandalism and may also suffer weather-related damage like flooding. Here are some ways to protect your vacant home.
Lock all doors and windows
This is by far the easiest, most logical course of action and also one that can easily slip your mind. The chaos and high stress of moving could make you forget the little things that end up being big things. Take a walk-through and secure every entry potential entry-point no matter how small.
Lights in a vacant house can be a deterrent, especially for criminal activity. Set up motion-activated exterior lights or lights that utilize a timer and go on in eth evening. Time the lights so that they go on in different rooms at different times so that it looks like someone is home. Also, make sure the curtains are closed so that it’s impossible to see inside the house.
If you don’t have an alarm system installed in your vacant house, this is the time to get one. Install an alarm that when triggered calls the police or a reliable security company of your choice. You should inform the security provider that the house will be unoccupied too.
If you don’t have a security system in place and don’t want to install one or can’t afford to install one, you can consider installing dummy cameras. Installing fake video cameras in a vacant house can be a deterrent to criminal activity because people will just assume the cameras are running. The only problem with installing dummy cameras is that experienced criminals will be able to spot them easily.
If you’re able to, regularly inspect the house. In the event that you’re not able to do it yourself, ask someone you trust to check in on the vacant house. This regular surveillance will not only give you peace of mind because the safety of the house will be confirmed but it also places some human presence on the property. It may also be a good idea to let a neighbour or two keep a look out on your property.
Avoid leaving your valuables in the vacant house. If you stage the house for sale, make sure you remove all the valuables including electronics and jewellery beforehand.
Make sure the outside of your house remains in tip-top shape. Keep the yard clean, the grass trim, and just ensure it has the overall appearance of a lived-in, well-maintained house. An untended yard is a sign that the house is vacant, and it serves as a siren call to hooligans of all kinds. Make arrangements to have someone come and handle any of these external chores.
If you’re able to, you could hire a security guard to watch the vacant house. If you live in an area that already has security guards, let them know your place is vacant so that they keep an eye on it.
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