Yes, it is true, we live where other people vacation, but we may not live here year round and sometimes, we need a break of our own to get away and
experience other parts of the world. While you’re out exploring other cities, here are some tips to keep your home safe.
- Lock the Premises: This one may seem like the most obvious, however, many break-ins are accomplished by an intruder simply entering through an unlocked window or door. Double and triple check all of your outside openings, all windows, and all doors to ensure they are locked and dead bolted. Also lock your garage doors, if possible. Some garage doors have a security dead bolt, use this or disengage your garage door so that it will not function properly. If you do this, be sure to have the keys to the front door with you! If your garage door cannot be locked, and you have a pass-code to open your garage, make sure it’s a difficult code to figure out, something other than 1-2-3-4 or 9-8-7-6.
- Home Security System: Set up a smart home security system, with video monitoring and control capabilities from your smart phone. This is the best way to monitor your home from a distance. Many companies now offer this type of service. Plan ahead and get it set up prior to your departure, so you are familiar with how it functions.
- Social Media: Save your social media posts for when you get home. By posting pictures from your vacation, this is an easy way to tell all of your contacts that you are not home. Unless you have someone staying at your home (see #10), posting glamorous photos of your island getaway serves as an invitation to criminals to enter your vacant home.
- Stop mail services: Don’t let your mailbox overflow, advertising that you are not home to bring the mail inside – discontinue mail service if you’re going to be gone for a long period of time.
- Lights: Keeping the lights on all day, every day, actually may indicate that nobody is home. Leaving the lights on when it is dark outside, is a great idea. Invest in a timer to shut those lights off at the same time you would shut them off, if you were home.
- Tell a Trusted Neighbor: Tell a trusted neighbor that you will not be home for a certain period of time. Ask them to keep their eyes out for any suspicious activity. Give them a key, just in case they need to enter your home while you’re gone.
- Turn off Water: Turn the water off at the main valve to prevent any unforeseen leaks that may occur while you’re away.
- Unplug devices: Take a few minutes before you leave to unplug some devices in your home. Here are a few of the electronics you could unplug to conserve energy, small kitchen appliances, computers, chargers and the entertainment system.
- Remove your Hidden Spare Key: If you have hidden a spare key somewhere outside on your property, remove it and keep it inside or give to your trusted neighbor for emergency access.
- Hire a House-Sitter: Our last tip, which may be your saving grace to fully protect your home, is to hire a house-sitter. If you don’t have a smart home security system, ask a trusted friend to make frequent stops (or even stay) at your home during your vacation, to keep a watchful eye on it. This is a good time to feed the pets that were left behind and water the plants. Have your friend check for anything that seems out of place. Remind them to lock up upon leaving.