Most people know when they go away on vacation to be extra careful while in an unfamiliar place. However, while preparing for a trip, people often neglect taking the same precautions for their own home. Leaving your home and belongings unattended for an extended period of time can make individuals and their family an easy target for burglary and theft.
Some helpful tips on how to keep your home secure while you’re gone:
- Having a security system is always good! Most alarm companies will hardwire the system to a local police station or a central monitoring station. If you do, make sure you have alerts directed to your cell phone and not your home or work phone. If they have a free cell phone app, download it! These can be extremely useful. Another plus, most insurance companies will offer a discount on your homeowner’s policy.
- Make sure you and your kids do not advertise your trip on social media. Social media is a feeding ground for people that could potentially target your home. If you want to share your excitement, wait until you get home. This includes posting pictures and updates during the trip. (You may think only your friends can see you and your children’s posts, but the privacy terms of service are constantly changing, so it is often hard to determine what the public can and cannot see.)
- Have a neighbor or relative you know and trust check on your home regularly and collect any mail or newspapers that are accumulating or you can stop mail and newspaper service: contact the newspaper to put a hold on delivery. You can now go online to hold your mail for the duration of your trip: https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/
- If you have any hidden keys outside, bring them inside and leave a spare key with the person “house-sitting”. If you have a neighbor watching the house, ask them to park their car in your driveway instead of their own.
- Utilize light timers. These can be very inexpensive, and will turn on the lights automatically to give the impression to any onlookers that someone is home.
- Make sure the house looks lived in. Leave a throw blanket on the couch, or a sweatshirt hanging on the railing; something that will make it look like people are coming and going.
- Something that people don’t think to do is mow the lawn. Nothing screams no one’s home like 6 inches of grass in the front yard.
Taking care of your home while you’re away will offer greater peace of mind making your vacation more enjoyable and relaxing!