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  • Writer's pictureAndy Murphy

21 Home Security Tips for Summer

Home Security Tips for Summer

Protecting your home in the summer and while on vacation


The summer is supposed to be a fun time for sun and fun. Families are packing up for their vacation and outdoor activities. It’s important not to overlook home security in the summer whether you are going on vacation or not.


Believe it or not the amount of crime increases as the temperature rises. The combination of heat, longer days, and alcohol seem to bring out the worst in some people. Robbery and aggravated assault seem to increase in the heat of the summer months. So, it’s very important to be safe during the summer, especially when it comes to protecting your home.

Watch: 21 Home Security Tips for Summer

In this article, I will provide you with 21 home security tips to help keep your home safe and secure throughout the summer season and beyond.


Summer Home Security Tips: Outdoor Security


Outdoor Lighting and Motion Sensors


Just because the days are longer, doesn’t mean that lighting the exterior of your home is any less important. A security tip is know that that one of a thief’s greatest assets in home burglaries is darkness.


If a home looks dark than it is at greater risk for being chosen for a crime. The reason being that if the burglar feels they can get on to your property and get closer to your house without being seen - that will embolden them to go further.


Take away this advantage by adding exterior lights to your home. This can be done with floodlights and motion sensor lights to illuminate the darker areas of your home. The best way to see where you need lighting is to stand out front of your home at night and see which areas are the darkest.


Porch Lights: Set it and Forget it


One of the easiest ways to add light to the exterior of your home is to use your existing fixture on your porch. The porch light is very powerful tool in keeping your front entryway illuminated so that people will not get close enough to your door to see if it's locked or to see if they can kick through it.


By lighting up this area you are protecting one of the most common ways that a thief enters your home which is a door. To continuously illuminate this area at night it's essential to buy a dusk-to-dawn light bulb. This installs just like a normal light bulb and will turn on when it becomes dark and then when the sun rises it will turn off. All you need to do is screw in the light bulb and leave the switch on. The light bulb will take care of itself, giving you light when you need it. You can also do this for your back porch as well.

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Landscaping Security


Another tool that summertime burglars will use is the full bushes and trees that have grown in your yard. This isn't so much of a concern during the winter when everything is dormant.


During the summer thieves can hide behind shrubs and trees to get close to your home to either peak in the window or to try to slip under the garage door. It's very important that landscaping be part of your home security strategy.


Start by trimming bushes so that they are not tall enough to hide someone to stand behind them. Then trim them up from the bottom so that you can see feet behind the bushes. The same goes for trees. Make sure that the branches are not hanging so low that they can hide a person standing in your yard. You can also add garden lights to your landscaping to help illuminate the front yard. Plus, this will add to your home’s curb appeal.


Lock Up Ladders


More times than not criminals will not bring the proper tools with them that they need to break into your home. Many times, criminals will use things that they find on your property or your neighbor's property to break into your home. One of which is a ladder.


It would look very suspicious for someone to carry their own ladder down the street at night, so it's important to secure your ladders and tools that could be used against you. Lock up your ladders in a garage and keep your tools locked in a toolbox or a safe area so that they cannot be used against you. You would be surprised at how unprepared the average criminal is to break into a home. Don't make it easier for them. Lock up your ladders and tools.

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Summer Home Security Tips: Doors and Windows

Deadbolt Domination


No matter the season, making sure that your home is protected with a deadbolt on your exterior doors is an absolute must. Most homes do have deadbolts on the front and back doors. However, many of them are not installed properly. Before taking off for vacation this summer make sure your dead bolt is functioning correctly.


Many times, thieves can “walk back” a deadbolt door lock because it is not installed properly. This means they can use a knife or other object to simply scoot the bolt back into the fixture. Make sure that your deadbolt fully extends into the door frame, and you hear the clicking sound letting you know that the deadbolt has set. If the bolt does not set, it is not fully protecting your home. Sometimes heat, moisture, and humidity can affect this so be sure to check it in all seasons.


Strong Secondary Lock


According to recent FBI statistics the real number one way a criminal enters your home is through your front door. In addition to having a functioning deadbolt you need to consider a strong secondary lock for your front door. For a while now I have fully recommended the FlipLok.


The FlipLok is a strong secondary lock that can withhold 1,600 lbs of pressure and can make it really hard for people to kick in your front door. The FlipLok activates in less than a second and provides extra strength to your door that you just can't get with a chain lock. You can read my full review of FlipLok and why I think it's important to have on your home.


Windows Locks


It's always pleasant to take advantage of a summer breeze. However, leaving a window open for too long is never a good idea. If we are frequently opening our windows to let the breeze in, then there's the chance that we may forget to close and lock it.


Get yourself into the habit of checking your locks every night before you go to bed, not just for your windows. It's a good idea to check all of your locks frequently to make sure that your doors and windows are secured. The last thing you want to do is make your home an easy target for a criminal.


Don’t forget to close and lock your second story windows. Remember when we discussed locking up a ladder earlier? Don't give criminals an obvious entry point into your home. If they see a second floor window open they're going to start looking for a way to get inside. That’s why it’s important to secure second story windows.


Window Bars


In some communities having bars on the windows is part of the architecture. If you live in a high crime rate area, then you may want to consider putting bars on the outside of your home to protect your windows. This should always be done by a professional and shouldn't be considered an option unless it's absolutely necessary.

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Door and Window Sensors


Later we will discuss home a security system, but at this point it's pertinent to remind you to have sensors on your doors and windows. Before you go away on summer vacation make sure that the sensors on your doors and windows are working and that the battery levels are good. This will help you maintain a safe perimeter for your home while you are away.


Summer Home Security Tips: Defending the Garage


The Garage Door


During the summer when your kids are home you may leave the garage door up for many hours during the day. It's just easier to do and is less wear and tear on the garage door instead of having the kids open and close it every time they want to play basketball in the driveway.


It's important to remember that the garage door is the largest door on your home and needs to be thought of as a security point for your home. If your kids are not coming and going, make sure that the garage door is down. Also, when unattended, lock the door between the garage and the house to prevent someone from walking in.


If you go away on vacation and have a trusted neighbor, you may want to set up a temporary garage door code for them to use. Your neighbor could take any packages that have been delivered and leave them inside the garage and when you are back from vacation you can delete the temporary code. To find out how to set temporary codes Google the model number of your garage door motor or check the app if your system has one.


Garage Door Hacking


Many old garage doors do not have a modern safety feature called rolling code. Rolling code prevents someone from stealing the frequency that opens your garage door. Today, something similar can be done with a brute force hack with a Flipper Zero.


If you're going away on a long trip and are concerned about someone hacking your garage door, flip the breaker marked for the motor. This will turn off the power to the motor and render it unable to function, leaving it permanently down. As long as you have another way that you can enter your home this might be a solution that you need to explore.


Garage Windows


One of the ways that criminals decide if they want to burglarize a garage is to know what's inside before they break in. This can be done by looking through the windows in the garage or windows panes in the garage door. I highly recommend that you put curtains on any doors windows that may be in your garage. Then if you have windows in your garage door, I suggest frosting them so that the light comes through, but nobody can see inside.

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Summer Home Security Tips: Home Security System and Cameras


Home Security System and Monitoring


I always recommend that families have a home security system. Not necessarily because the system is going to do anything to protect you in the event of a break in, but it will alert you to a developing problem that you need to combat.


I find it frustrating how many homes in America have a home security system but do not pay for professional monitoring. Part of the security that comes from the alarm is knowing that if you are unavailable someone in a call center can decide whether the police need to be alerted. It's nice to know that somebody has your back. Paying for professional monitoring is a must.


Every home alarm needs sensors on exterior doors and first floor windows. It's also good to have a glass break monitor as well. These will do a great job in helping to monitor your home for any sort of illegal activity.


There are many good options for DIY home security systems, I suggest that you look at SimpliSafe or Ring Alarm Pro to see which one fits your needs and budget. If you can use double sided tape and add a device to your Wi-Fi, then you are qualified to install your own home security system.


Home Security Cameras


Home security cameras can bring a great level of protection and peace of mind when it comes to securing your home. It is important to note that it is not a good idea to go overboard with too many cameras. This can lead to slowing down your network and making your home feel like a prison. I do not suggest putting cameras inside of your home to protect your privacy.


If your budget only allows for three cameras for your property, I suggest that you put one covering your front door. This could be a doorbell camera. The second camera should cover the back door. The last camera I would be placed in the garage. This camera would monitor if the garage door is up and to get a view of the door that leads into your home. With this 3-camera setup you can cover the three main entry points into your home and get an idea of who is moving around your property.


When it comes to buying home security cameras, I suggest that you stick with brands that you know. If you have an existing home security system like ring, then I would suggest using Ring cameras. You can also get creative and use trail cameras to cover your property.


Light Timers


The movie Home Alone really pushes the importance of how lighting can protect your home. In that movie Kevin McAllister lights up his home and makes it appear as if there's a party happening inside. We don't have to use that particular level of sophistication to ward off burglars, so there's a few things that we can do to use lighting to deter a break in.


The first thing that you're going to need is a lighting timer. This can be done with a wireless device like an Amazon Smart Plug. Technology has come a long way since those bulky dial things that our parents used.


It's important to know when setting up your lighting timer schedule that you do not need to make it look like the party scene from Home Alone. Instead, mimic what the normal lighting patterns are for your home. That will look most natural and won't draw any extra attention to your home.


Summer Home Security Tips: Vacation


Mail and Package Delivery


One of the biggest signs that you are away from home on a summer vacation is mail stuffed in the mailbox and packages stacked by the door. This is an irresistible sign to a porch pirate or a home burglar that they just can't pass up. To combat this, have your mail held and your packages stopped until you return.


The United States Postal Service has a free service that will hold your mail. All you have to do is sign up for an account, check that your address is valid, and set the dates. If you forget to do this before you leave, you can have a trusted neighbor pick up any packages or mail that is delivered. This is one of their better services.


Social Media Posting


It's understandable to be excited to take a summer trip. It's also totally normal to want to share that joy with your friends and family. But we must be careful not to share these plans on social media.


Never share when you'll be leaving, where you'll be going, and how long you will be gone. Even though your followers on Facebook are your friends and family, you never know who else is going to see the post. This is especially true for platforms like X or Instagram. If you do not have a private account, then anybody can see those posts. Don't advertise that you are going to be away from home, that will be an irresistible piece of information for somebody with bad intentions.


Lag Posting Pics


In the same vein when we go on our trip we want to share about our experience. This could be a post about how your flight went, a great restaurant you ate at in another city, or a beautiful picture of a mountain Vista. While we may want to share this with the people we care about - we can't share that in real time on social media.


If you are a resident of the state of Kansas and you post a picture of you sitting at a beach, people are going to figure out quick that you're not home. This is where lag posting comes in. Lag posting is when you take a picture and then you save it to post when you return home. This way you can still share the picture and not let people know that you're gone.


If you are on vacation and you just have to share pictures with people I would suggest setting up a group text to share those photos. This way you can still have the joy of sharing and your family can know what's going on but it's all private.


Summer Home Security Tips: Neighborhood Watch


Get To Know Your Neighbors


Before you leave on your summer trip it's important to establish a relationship with the people that live around you. It's a good idea to generally know who they are and how they feel about you. I'm not telling you that you have to be best friends with everybody, but you at least need to be on a first name basis. This way you can develop a rapport and even a friendship so that people will just naturally look out for you and your property. Likewise, you need to do this for them.


Have A Trusted Neighbor


During this article you have heard me talk about getting a trusted neighbor to help you out when you are away. It's really good to invest in one or two key relationships with your neighbors, if not all of them. These will be the people who will be motivated to help you out by collecting your mail and keeping an eye out on your property while you're gone.


Before you leave have a conversation with them. or text them. that you were going to be gone and for how long you were going to be gone. This way they'll know that if a car shows up in your driveway when you're gone that that is something that they need to take note of and maybe even call the police about. And to say thank you might want to give them a gift card or bring them back a trinket from your trip.


The Neighborhood Group


Many neighborhoods and communities will have closed Facebook groups or social media groups for neighborhood activities. In these groups is usually somebody complaining about a dog pooping in their yard or upgrades that need to be done to the neighborhood. This is not the place to post your vacation plans.


It may make you uncomfortable to think that one of your neighbors would steal from you but it's possible. Maybe your neighbor's 15-year-old son sees a post on the neighborhood Facebook group that you're gone for a week. He may use this information to raid your medicine cabinet while you're gone. Things like this happen all the time. Consider the neighborhood group to be public, and not to share personal information on it.


Summer Home Security Tips: Remain Vigilant

By taking these steps and remaining vigilant, you can create a secure environment for your home and loved ones this summer and beyond. Remember, home security is a continuous process, not a one season effort. 

Regularly assess your vulnerabilities, update your strategies, and adapt to new technologies to stay ahead of potential threats. Enjoy your summer, knowing you've taken the necessary precautions to keep your home safe and secure.


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Andy Murphy

Andy Murphy founded The Secure Dad in 2016 with the aspiration to help families live safer, happier lives. What started as a personal blog about family safety has turned into an award-winning podcast, an Amazon best-selling book, and online courses. He focuses his efforts in the areas of home security, situational awareness, and online safety.


Andy is a husband and father. His interests include coaching youth basketball, hiking, and trying to figure out his 3D printer.

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