8 Tips for Home Safety While Vacationing
You are looking forward to your well-deserved vacation, and you should. But you should not forget about protecting your home while you're gone, either. You do not want to spend your entire vacation worrying about your home or belongings, so it is best to take care of them before you even leave. It's better to be safe than sorry, after all, so we've gone ahead and compiled some tips to help you leave your home a little safer while traveling.
- House-Sitter – Have someone who is willing to watch your house (or your pets, if needed). Have them come by and water your plants, collect your mail, take out your garbage. This makes your house look like it's being lived in, as opposed to being vacant. A vacant home is far more attractive to thieves than a lived in one, after all.
- Hold Your Mail – If you don't have someone willing or able to pick up your mail for you, and you're going to be gone for more than just a few days, have the post office put a hold on your mail. This will keep your mail from piling up, or from deliveries being dropped off at your door. The piling up of mail can alert people that you're not home and won't be for a while, thus giving them incentive to break in.
- Don't Have Newspapers Delivered – Put a hold on your newspapers as well (if you still subscribe to the paper). For the same reason as having a hold put on your mail, your newspapers piling up is a big sign to criminals that you're out of the picture for a while.
- Timers on Lights/Garbage Taken Out – As mentioned above, a lived-in house is a large deterrent to those looking for an easy break in. If you have the ability to put your lights on a timer, then it looks as though someone is home. If your neighbor is willing to put your garbage cans on the curb and then return them after the trucks have come by, then the house doesn't look like it's vacant. It's all a matter of perception.
- Landscaping Trimmed – A trimmed lawn is a well-cared for lawn and not the lawn of someone that isn't home. If your neighbor is willing to mow your lawn for you while you're away, or you have a lawn service, its best to have that happen. Overgrown lawns are often a sign of a vulnerable home.
- Lock All Doors and Windows – This seems like it should be obvious, but it's often the most overlooked aspect. We nearly always remember to lock our front door, but what about the back door? The door into the garage? The window you usually leave open for your cat to come in and out? While you're at it, you should consider unplugging your automatic garage door, so that thieves can't use a universal remote to open it. Consider every possible entry point and make sure it's inaccessible. Quite often, a thief won't go through the trouble of breaking in if it's going to take a lot of work.
- Be Cautious While Planning – Be careful who you're talking to about your vacation and who's around when you're planning. You never can be too sure about who's listening, and there may be those that are who aren't going to have your best interests in mind.
- Security System – Install a security system. Some people think this may be overkill, but if you're not home to keep an eye on your house and belongings, sometimes it's best to have someone else able to do so. Often, an alarm sounding is enough to drive off a burglar and having immediate response to said alarm is relieving.
Going on vacation shouldn't leave you stressed about the state of your home and belongings. Remember to be vigilant upon leaving so that you can return with peace and happiness. Your summer vacation is meant to be enjoyed, and with proper planning, you can do just that.