Going away for a while usually means you’re about to travel and explore new places instead of spending every single day at your home.

However, going away also means jeopardising your home, leaving it in the hands of thieves and burglars. There’s nothing criminals love more than an empty home, so you need to make sure it’s impenetrable and absolutely safe while you’re away.

While you can do some of the things that prevent break-ins on your own, others require professional assistance and you have to invest some money into them. But, don’t worry: keeping your residence safe doesn’t mean you’ll have to break the bank – it simply means you have to get organised properly. Here are a few ideas how to do so.

  • New doorknobs

The easiest way to ensure maximum security of your house is focusing on the front door. In case you’re living in an older house, the chances are your frames, hinges, locks and knobs are outdated and hence present a perfect way for someone to waltz right into your home.

One of the things you can do on your own is install new doorknobs and locks that are much safer than the older models. This won’t take too much of your time and you don’t have to be especially skilled to do so, but your front door will be much safer with new knobs and locks.

  • A new front door

If you’re still unsure whether new doorknobs will do the trick, don’t beat yourself up – installing a new front door will solve all your problems and probably make you feel much better about your home safety. Nevertheless, since there are lots of models on the market, you need to make sure you’ve picked the right one and got your money’s worth.

That’s why so many people opt for reliable and stable aluminium doors that don’t cost as much as wooden doors, yet are sturdier and more stable than lots of other models. This way, you’ll also get a psychological advantage over the thieves – very few of them will try to break into a house with such a front door, so you’ll be quite safe.

  • A surveillance system

This is another great way to stay safe, but it can be quite expensive and some people complain about the effectiveness of certain models. Namely, a surveillance system and alarms will let you know if there’s someone entering your home and even capture them on tape, which is valuable when it comes to police investigation, but it sometimes can’t physically prevent anyone from actually entering your place.

That’s why a simple surveillance system just isn’t enough in this day and age, so you need to invest a bit more money into a high-quality one. If it gives off a silent alarm or notifies a security company, a team of experts can come to your house quickly and catch the thieves red-handed.

  • Simple solutions

Sometimes, relying on simple solutions is the best way to go, and keeping your home safe is no different. You should definitely get new doors and knobs, but what if you can’t afford a costly surveillance system? Some of the things that are basically free yet highly effective are:

  • making sure everything’s locked up,
  • notifying reliable neighbors that you’re out of town and asking them to keep an eye on your home,
  • asking your friends to stop by from time to time, just to make sure everything’s in order,
  • getting a dog or two and asking the neighbors to feed them,
  • cancelling your mail and newspapers subscription so that the thieves don’t see it piling up your driveway,
  • asking someone to mow your lawn or clean the snow,
  • installing timers on your lights and even on your TV, and
  • making it look like you’re there – if the kid from Home Alone did it, so can you!
  •  Things to avoid

With the crime rate constantly going through the roof, it’s easy to become paranoid and wonder what might happen while you’re not at home. Nevertheless, you don’t have to be too paranoid to be alert, but just keep in mind that there are a few things you might want to avoid before going away for a while.

Some of these are:

  • advertising your absence on Facebook, Twitter and other social media,
  • posting pictures from your trip,
  • letting too many people know you’re away,
  • leaving your key on the front porch or other visible location,
  • forgetting to lock up,
  • leaving the lights on all the time (burglars know this is a sign of an unoccupied home), and
  • not protecting your tool shed and garage.

After improving your home’s security and making sure you’ve contacted trustworthy professionals, all you need to do is relax, enjoy your trip and don’t worry whether something’s going to happen or not.

Are you keeping your home security up to date? Share with us in the comments. 

  • A new door! Fabulous idea. We have been broken into and we’re only away overnight. They came in through a window and went out the front door


  • Great tips! I see so many friends telling everyone on social media that they are away for so many weeks, and I often think that this is just asking for trouble as now everyone knows that the house is empty! We always get the neighbors to check the letterbox, put bins in and out, and they even com inside every few days and open/shut curtains so things are constantly changing.


  • Great hints, but not for just when away, but at home also. Always ensure your home is secure, We live in a great area, but always have our doors locked. When we are away, we always let our neighbors know, they will collect the mail, water and mow the lawns, even put a car on the driveway to make it look ‘lived in’.

    We have heard that some crims go around areas turning off the hot water systems and return in a day or two, if it is still turned off they assume no-one home so try and break in.

    Take care and stay safe.


  • you could get a house sitter possibly. maybe you could get systems that turn on/off lights, tvs, radios etc


  • Don’t forget to lock the shed or put locks on tow bars of trailers, caravans or boats.


  • Also, “getting a dog or two and asking the neighbors to feed them” is not only spelt incorrectly but is not why you have a dog and if away for a long period of time is cruel.


  • I have to think about how we will do this when traveling. We moved recently and live in a rather unfriendly neighborhood, where people don’t even great each other (let alone asking them to collect the mail).

    • I always hold the mail with Australia Post. And put a “no junk mail” sticker on the letter box. Pretty easy to see whose away from home with their junk mail piling up.
      Install a sensor light.


  • I always make sure everything is lockes and alert a good neighbour to keep an eye on our place and collect mail.


  • If you buy a new security door make sure the mesh is very strong. Some is quite flimsy and easily cut. Make sure it isn’t fibreglass. Unless the mesh has been changed it is actually easy to burn. It cost more but get good quality “one way” mesh(wire). During the day you can see out but nobody can see in. Make sure the door is triple lock (3 bolts from the door into the framework). You actually only see one lock that you insert the key into. Even if you get your mail cancelled there is no guarantee you won’t still get small parcels left in your letterbox or at your front door. Get a trusted friend/neighbour to check each day for you. You could plug a internal light into a timer which is plugged into a powerpoint. Set it so the light comes on at the normal times you always have one on when you are home.


  • We have a dog that is very protective of our home. We get the next door neighbor to feed him while we are away but he runs free (within our fence) and I don’t think he would let anyone else inside.


  • Home invasion and theft is increasing alarmingly! These are great tips that you should follow constantly, not just when you’re away – many burglaries occur during the day and even when people are in the house! Vigilance is paramount.


  • Great tips, thanks. I won’t get a surveillance system or change the doorknobs (we’re renting), but the other tips make lots of sense.


  • Some good tips (although I’ve never heard of updating door knobs before!).. it is also a good idea to make sure that windows are secure (some frames allow them to be locked so that they can’t just be jiggled open)… Oh, and a tin or solid roof is better than tiles that are so easily removed giving free access to anywhere in the house!!

    • The tiles point is an interesting one for sure – have heard of this too.

      • That’s absolutely true. But so difficult to change once you have a tiled roof.


  • Very good tips. I follow them when we are away.


  • The tips with things to avoid is good for everyone and makes good sense.


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