Protect your home when you’re on vacation


We take vacations to get away from it all. For homeowners the responsibilities, and worries, don't end when you hop on a plane. Mike Holmes shares some helpful advice on securing your home so you can enjoy your vacation.

Mike Holmes and Mike Holmes Jr. stop by to offer homeowner advice.
Mike Holmes and Mike Holmes Jr. stop by to offer homeowner advice.

Your home is the largest investment you are likely ever going to make, so it is important that you protect the investment. When you are away from home, you don’t want to worry about someone breaking in and stealing your prized possessions, do you?

There are plenty of things you can do to protect your home against break-ins. Most people will tell you to install timers on your lights; have your neighbour pick up the mail; let someone park in the driveway while you’re gone. But you do better than these standard tips.

Smart locks

I recently installed a Smart Lock in my home and the garage that my son Mike Jr built. It has a built-in alarm system and that means peace of mind! A smart lock will also send you notifications when someone enters or leaves the home. If your kids are in school, I would recommend installing a smart lock. You can unlock the door remotely so they can enter the home, and lock it remotely to prevent them from opening the door to strangers.

Home maintenance

Don’t forget about maintenance—especially on your home’s exterior. It can be a dead giveaway that you’re not home. If the lawn looks over grown or branches haven’t been cleaned up after a storm, people may start to notice. Consider hiring a landscaper or neighbour to mow your lawn while you’re gone, or to clear any snow if you’ll be away in the winter.

Lights on a timer

Everyone recommends putting your lights on a timer. However, if your lights come on at 7pm every night, potential intruders can pick up on that pattern. You can use an App to control when the lights come on in your home—all from your cellphone. This will let you vary the times that the lights will come on and go off.

Posting on social media

Don’t broadcast on social media that you’re leaving. It’s amazing how much information people share nowadays. You can literally track a person just by looking at what they’re posting. Remember: It’s not just your friends that see this.

I am a busy guy, and I know firsthand the importance to protecting your home while you are away. On one of our show construction sites, we actually had a break-in and lost a lot of expensive appliances. When it comes to protecting your home, it’s always better (and cheaper) to be safe than sorry.