Keep Your Home Safe From Burglars When You’re on Vacation


You’ve packed your bags, double checked your flight time, and tucked your passport into your bag. Remember to safeguard your DC Metro Area home from potential burglars before you sip a frosty beverage on a sandy beach. Here are some smart ways to protect your home:
  • Lock up. This might sound overly obvious, but make sure you’ve secured all door and window locks, including night locks when you leave.

  • Put lights on timers. A well-lit home should detract potential burglars so set timers on lights to go on and off when you’d normally be home.

  • Make sure your mail doesn’t pile up. A pile of newspapers on your front porch or an over-stuffed mailbox are sure signs that no one has been home for a while. Have a trusted friend or neighbor collect your mail and any packages once a day or every few days to make it look like someone is home. Putting a stop on your mail isn’t necessarily a smart idea because your mail carrier will know you’re away.

  • Keep a car parked in the driveway. Your empty driveway can be a signal that your home is empty too. Make arrangements with a neighbor or friend to park in your driveway randomly during the day or overnight when they arrive home each day.

  • Keep your curtains or blinds as you normally do. If you normally keep your blinds open but close them when you’re on vacation, this is an obvious signal that something is different. Keep them as you normally do to not attract unwanted attention.

  • Ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your home. Let your neighbors know you’re going out of town and leave them your contact information. They know the neighborhood so are well-suited to spot any out of the ordinary activity.

  • Make sure your home looks kept. If it’s winter and you’re expecting snow, arrange for a neighbor to clear your driveway (this will also be a nice treat when you arrive home and can easily pull in your driveway). If you expect to be gone more than a week in the spring or summer, arrange to have your lawn cut.

  • Consider hiring a house-sitter. One of the best ways to avoid worrying about your home while you’re away is hiring someone you trust to stay at your home while you’re away. This can be especially helpful if you also have pets, so you can avoid the hassle and fees associated with boarding.

  • Turn off electric garage door openers. This will reduce the risk of a burglar attempting to enter your garage using a universal electric remote.

  • Avoid posting your plans and whereabouts on social media. You’re excited about your trip, but avoid posting the details of your trip including when you’re leaving and where you’re going. Only tell a few trusted people about your plans, and save vacation photos for your return.

  • Install a security system. This will not only protect your DC Metro Area home when you’re away but also when you’re home.

  • Let the local police know. If you live in a small town and will be away more than a week, there’s no hurting in letting them know you’ll be away. When they have some downtime, the local police can take a quick cruise past your home to make sure everything looks okay.

Check out these other tips for living in Washington, DC, and surrounding areas or reach out to your local DC realty expert for one-on-one advice.


As a consummate professional, Marc Cowan provides his clients with the highest level of expertise, service and integrity. Marc has a successful track record of negotiating complex transactions and is dedicated to helping each of his clients achieve their unique real estate goals. Contact Marc today to schedule a consultation.

Contact Us

Follow Me on Instagram