Keeping Your Home Safe While You are Away on Vacation
With the vacation season just around the corner, it may be busy planning where you want to go to relax. While you are researching your desired destination, do not forget to take precautions when it comes to keeping your home safe. The time when you are away for an extended period is when your home is at the most risk, so spending some time protecting your home and possessions will allow you to relax a little easier.
1) Hire a House Sitter
One of the easiest ways you can protect your home while you are gone is to hire someone to look after your home. A relative who you trust may be your best bet, though you can always hire a house or pet sitter through a professional agency. Even if the person is not staying in your home full-time, it will look like someone is occupying the home as long as they bring in the mail and the newspaper. If you do not have someone you can trust with your property, put a hold on your mail and stop the newspaper delivery until you return.
2) Make It Look Like Someone is Still Home
Your home should always look lived in even when no one has been at home for a couple of days. This illusion can actually be very easy to create by installing timers that will turn lights on and off at normal times. If you have a neighbor who will be around for a few days, see if they can take out the garbage can on the normal pickup days. If the landscapers normally come on Saturday, keep a visit scheduled so that your lawn looks cared for. Ultimately, you want it to look like your home is operating as it normally would.
3) Avoid Talking about Your Trip on Social Media
Although it can be difficult, avoid talking about your upcoming trip on your social media pages. By posting about your upcoming plans, acquaintances of friends who have access to your Facebook page or Twitter account may decide to mark your home as a target. Ensure that your kids are careful about revealing plans as well, especially if they are teenagers. Teens who are staying in town during any school breaks or over the summer may decide that your home would make a great place to hang out when no one is there. Once you get back from your trip, you can get more enjoyment out of posting your pictures and telling stories about the fun places you got to visit.
4) Save Money by Unplugging Electronics
When your electronics are plugged into your outlets, a small amount of electricity is still running through your home even if those electronics are not turned on. To reduce your utility bills, unplug all of your electronics and appliances with the exception of your refrigerator. You can even unplug your automatic garage door opener to prevent anyone from gaining access.
5) Install a Home Security System
If you do not have a security system installed, now is a great time to have that done. In fact, some of the new systems let you view your front door and certain rooms inside your home right from your smartphone. Many of these systems also connect to lights and other home systems, meaning you can keep an eye on your property when you are away. Even better, the system is useful when you get back by deterring burglars at night or during the day while you are at work. For an extra bit of security, make sure to leave a home security sign on your lawn or in your window to deter thieves even more.
6) Do Not Hide a Key
Finally, ensure that you know where all the keys to your home are located. If you want to leave a key behind just in case, make sure that you leave it with your trusted neighbor or relative. Leaving a key somewhere around the home is asking for trouble as many burglars are aware of all the good hiding spots. If you seem to be missing a key, you can always change the front lock before you head out the door.
Taking a vacation is all about having fun and relaxing. By ensuring that your home is properly protected, you will not have to spend your time away from the world worrying about your home.