How to Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Away This Summer

There’s no possession more important than your home. Beyond the notions of home as a nest or a shelter or a sanctuary, your home is also where nearly every other valuable possession in your life resides. From items you can readily replace to the sentimental treasures and even family members which you can’t, there’s nothing more vital than protecting and defending your castle from any and all threats.

Assuming you don’t have royal resources like guardsmen or a moat, here are six basic tips we all can take for making sure our home remains the safe, warm and secure refuge we all crave.

1. Lock It Tight

This may sound insanely simple, but the basic effort of making sure your doors and windows are properly locked and secured is your first and best line of defense against break-ins and burglaries. In fact, the U.S. Justice Department found 40 percent of unlawful entries happened because of an unlocked door or window.

Perform a thorough sweep of the ground level perimeter around your home. Make sure each door sports a strong frame, protected hinges, a heavy-duty deadbolt lock and other protections from peepholes to secured mail slots. Test out all your accessible windows and replace any thin seals or flimsy latches with modern, even key-operated levers or locks.

2. Light It Up

Poorly-lit homes are an invitation to burglars to skulk around, stick to the shadows and toil away in that darkness for as long as needed to get inside your house. Strong outdoor lighting, preferably flood lights with high lumens and even motion activation, can be strong deterrents for a criminal just looking for an easy score. And of course, those lights make it at least seem like you’re home… even when you’re not.

3. Know Your Neighbors

This can be a tough one for the anti-social among us, but think about it — if your neighbors know you and the others in your home as well as when it’s most likely you’re home or away, won’t they be more vigilant and ready to report anything fishy happening around your house? Whether it’s an organized neighborhood watch program or just informal friendly relationships, having your neighbors on your side can be invaluable.

4. Get a Dog… Preferably, a Loud One

You love dogs. Of course, you do! Who doesn’t love seeing those cute little faces? Well, crooks, for one. The loud barking (not to mention the fear of the teeth that go with them) can be a big reason a crook moves on to another home. The Justice Department also found burglarized homes were less likely to have a dog than non-burglarized homes.

Of course, even if you’re not a dog person, posting a “Beware of Dog” sign outside your home can help signal a would-be burglar to stay away.

5. Catalog Your Valuables

You’ve probably tackled more enjoyable projects than building an inventory of your prized possessions. However, in the event of a break-in, having a picture and even the serial number for a television, computer, jewelry and other expensive items could be just the proof you need to ultimately get back anything that’s been taken.

6. Get a Home Security Camera

This one is a biggie. Whether it’s a full outside security camera system, a do-it-yourself camera set or a network of interior cams, the unblinking eye is an exceptional weapon in ensuring home security and peace of mind.

To keep you constantly in touch with what’s happening with your home, consider a cam with features like the iPM World HD Wireless IP Camera (currently on sale for $44.99, 65 percent off).

It’s compact enough to fit virtually anywhere in your home, packs full 360-degree panoramic views for complete room surveillance, infrared night vision, and high def 1080p video capabilities.

Connected via WiFi, the cam is also fully accessible from your smartphone, allowing you to rotate the camera and even view video footage from anywhere you are.