Vacations are all about adventure and fun but before you venture out, make certain your home is protected. You want to subscribe to the “better safe than sorry” philosophy and take out the time to review your checklist before you head out the door. Being extra vigilant will help keep your belongings and your home safer while you are gone.
The best way to keep your house safe while you are gone is to have a trustworthy person staying in it. If you have a relative willing to stay in your home while you are gone, that would be great. If not, there are pet-sitting and house-sitting services available. Although this option can be on the pricier side, it really covers all bases.
If you plan on leaving your house empty for more than a couple of days, you should consider stopping delivery of your mail. You can call your local post office and they can hold it anywhere from 3 to 30 days free of charge. In some areas you may be able to go online and do this.
Having newspapers piling up on your driveway is a surefire sign that your house is empty. This can be an easy one to overlook and will make you an easy target.
Aside from newspapers and mail piling up, there are other things that can be left at the house like fliers or packages. To cover all bases, have a neighbor check on your house every couple of days to get the mail and remove anything that might be laying around.
When a home is occupied, cars come and go and the lights go on and off. When you leave, this all stops. To keep the house looking occupied, buy timers for both the interior and exterior lighting. Perhaps you can get a neighbor to put out your trash cans and take them back in. This is just another way to show that everything is functioning as usual.
If you diligently mow your lawn every week and it begins to look overgrown, one may think the home is empty. If you plan on taking an extended holiday, you may want to hire someone to handle the landscaping of your home until you return.
This is of course an obvious one, but at the same time, you may have some areas of the house you typically do not lock. This could be the door that leads into the house from the garage or a window that you open and close for the cat. Make sure to add every window and door to your checklist and you have a much better chance of your home remaining intact.
It is smart to be cautious about where and to whom you talk about your trip. You do not want to make any announcements on social media or any other online sites. This will make you an easy target for sure. You even want to be discreet at work or at a restaurant. You never know who is listening and it is better to be safe than sorry.
Before you leave, consider disconnecting some electronics like your coffee pot, computer and television. This will save you some money and take away the chance that you have left something powered on. While you are at it, you should turn off the power to your garage door. This is an effective way help keep burglars from being able to use a universal remote to open it. Furthermore, if you have a portable GPS in your car and you park in the long-term parking area, a thief can see you are not home and use your GPS to get to your house.
Having a home security system or even some bright exterior lights on timers gives you added security whether you are home or not. They work at all hours and really help make your property less attractive to thieves.