“Hope for the best, plan for the worst” is a maxim described by US Supreme Court Justice John Jay as trite but good—most people know it from The Bourne Ultimatum. It’s an excellent philosophy in creating a defensible home.
Make sure your home insurance is comprehensive—fire, burglary, home invasion, and flood insurance (even if you don’t live in a flood plain). Depending on where you live, you may also need to be insured against other natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or tornadoes.
You should also make plans for what you’ll do in the event of these things occurring—how to get out of the house, who to call, where to hide, etc.
4. Don’t Advertise your Absence
Vacations are enough to get anyone excited, and you want to tell everyone (perhaps rub it in someone’s face?) that you get to relax in Hawaii or the Mediterranean. Don’t do it. Of course you can tell the people you trust, but don’t brag about your upcoming trip loudly in public places or share it on your social media channels.
Pack for all trips discreetly and quickly, in the privacy of your own garage. Alert your most trusted neighbor of your impending absence and ask them to keep an eye on the house, as well as get your mail and newspapers (if you can’t call the publisher to temporarily stop delivery) so that people aren’t tipped off by papers piling up.
Another vacation safety tip is to avoid using the obvious airport shuttles. And wait to share photos of your trip until you get back.
5. Make a Nightly Walk Around Part of your Nightly Routine
So many families don’t do this one simple thing! Once everyone is in for the night, walk around and be sure all doors, windows, and gates are closed and locked, check to make sure no flood/fire risks are left turned on, and turn on any alarm systems or motion-sense-tripped lights you have installed.
Once you’ve completed these tasks, go to sleep safely knowing your home is about as defensible as it can be.