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Dubai: You can have peace of mind and enjoy a hassle-free summer vacation if you make sure to keep your UAE home secure before stepping out and avoid the common mistakes many people make.

As tens of thousands of expatriate families and even Emiratis get set to leave the country for their annual holidays to cooler climes abroad, the vacation rush can make many of us forget to exercise caution at home.

Mohammad Meraj Hoda, vice-president, Business Development — Middle East and Africa at Ring, said: “Security is one aspect of our homes that we should never overlook. Instead, home security is something that we need to constantly evaluate and improve upon. There’s always an opportunity to improve the security of our homes; we just need to know where to look.”

From tucking a spare key under a flower pot or rug outside your house to leaving doors and windows unlocked, some precautions may seem a no-brainer, but are unfortunately not so commonsensical for many.

By leaving a spare key outside the home, you are in a way empowering home intruders.

“Experienced home intruders will know all the common hiding places, so just avoid it altogether. If you absolutely need a back-up plan to enter your house, consider giving a spare key to a trusted neighbour or purchasing smart door locks, which will allow you to remotely open your door, even if you can’t find your keys,” Moda said.

Anyone can easily forget to lock windows and doors. So don’t leave them open in the first place. Also, In addition to doors and windows, your garage is one of the most vulnerable areas of your home. So always keep it secure.

Investing in reliable security cameras around the house, that you can access remotely, is also helpful. With smart, WiFi-connected security devices, you’ll always have home security at your fingertips, and you can respond to and prevent suspicious activity as it happens.

Also, never share your plans or trips on social media so that your online friends will know right away that no one’s home. Some things are best kept private for your own security.

Here are seven common mistakes to avoid to keep your home secure:

1. Hiding a spare key outside: This should go without saying, but you should never leave a spare key outside your home.

2. Leaving doors and windows unlocked: Leaving your doors and windows unlocked is an open invitation to home intruders, so always double-check before leaving the house. If you decide to get smart-locks, you can also use your smartphone to make sure your doors are locked while you’re away.

3. Not securing your garage door: Many garage doors are electronically controlled by universal remotes, which can be easily opened by other modified remotes. To protect your property, never leave your garage-door opener in plain sight, and always secure your garage with a heavy-duty padlock or an automated garage-door lock, which will automatically lock your garage as soon as it closes.

4. Having poor outdoor lighting: A home with a dark front or back garden will be intruders’ preferred target. Make sure there are no blind spots on the outside of your home. Get a light for your front porch that stays on all night, and place motion-activated floodlights around your property.

5. Providing hiding spots for home intruders: Thick shrubbery and tall plants are great ways to provide some extra privacy for you and your home. Unfortunately, they also provide great hiding spots for home intruders lurking in your garden. If it’s possible, be sure to keep the plants in your garden trimmed and use accent lights and floodlights to expose dark areas.

6. Posting your plans on social media: Globally, there are countless horror stories of people announcing their plans online and getting robbed by people in their social networks, so you should always avoid being too open and public about your holiday plans.

7. Having no security visible outside: Savvy home invaders will know of all the latest security devices, and they’ll avoid homes if they know that they have effective security solutions in place. Sometimes, even just a security sign can deter a thief from breaking in. So get your devices set up and make sure home intruders know that your home is protected.