It’s summertime and the living is easy, especially for potential thieves. It’s easy to forget about locking doors when you’re in and out of the garden or on a quick trip to the store. Going away for longer, like holidays or business trips, brings its own challenges for securing your home.

Most break-ins occur during the day, and the most common break-in points are on the main floor. Whether you’re enjoying a staycation or on a trip of a lifetime, here’s some advice to protect your home and belongings.

Know your neighbours

Whether they’re down the hall or across the road, your neighbours can be a good form of defence if they know you, your family, and when you’re away. They can also collect your mail and make it look like someone's home.

Think like a thief

Try to break into your home. Are your doors and windows secured? Is it easy to force your way in through the outside and garage doors? Look for other vulnerable spots.

Install an alarm system

Include cameras if your budget allows.

Upgrade your door locks

Use deadbolts and a strike plate. Sliding doors often have flimsy locks so be sure to install a security bar. If you’ve recently bought a home, replace the door locks. Get in the habit of locking your doors when you’re home.

Secure your doors

Doors can be easily kicked in. Your home and garage doors can be vulnerable. Perhaps install a sturdier door and frame.

Protect your windows

Install shatterproof glass or add security film that prevents glass from shattering. The film may deter thieves since they have to spend more time gaining access to the inside. Put locks on your windows, especially on the main floor. When replacing windows, install ones that can be locked.

Prevent identity theft

Put your financial documents, including credit card information, in a secure place.

Use timers

Your radio, television, and indoor and outdoor lights should be on timers.

Trim trees and shrubs

Don’t create hiding places outside. Make sure trees and shrubs are trimmed clear of windows and doors so no one can hide in them.

Use social media wisely

Be social media savy. Don't announce your holiday plans or post photos of your best holiday ever while away. Wait until you get home. Otherwise, you’re advertising your home is available to rob.

Get a house sitter

Ask friends or relatives to stay at your place for all or part of the time you’re away, or hire a professional house sitter.