Making sure you packed everything you need and double-checking the time your flight takes off are two common steps everyone takes when they’re heading out on a big trip. Once you’re busy worrying about the things you’re bringing, it’s easy to forget about what you’re leaving at home.
What about the safety of your home while you’re away? Are you doing everything you can to protect it? If you’re leaving home for an extended period of time, it’s important to take some necessary steps before you walk out the door. Here are some quick and easy tips to keep your mind at ease and make sure everything is safe while you’re away.
Get someone to house sit
Having someone stay at your house is the best thing you can do. There are multiple benefits for not only the maintenance of your home, but making sure it stays secure. Did you know that a typical burglar usually lives within two miles of the home they target? Because they live so close, it’s easy for them to learn about your daily schedule and strike when they know you’re not home, especially when you’re on an extended leave. By having your house occupied, it’s less of a target for burglars.
As far as protecting the maintenance of your home, having someone watch your house can save you from a major problem when you get back. In the event that your pipes freeze, or you accidentally leave an appliance plugged in, it can be disastrous if not caught quickly. Finally, you will get the added bonus of the small, everyday tasks like watering your plants or bringing your mail in.
If you can’t get someone to stay at your house, make sure you stop your mail (a full mailbox is a blatant sign to burglars that someone hasn’t been home for a while) and consider setting your lights on a timer. You should also reach out to a few trustworthy neighbors to keep watch over your house. If they know you’re away and see something out of the ordinary, they can take action right away!
Even though vacation is meant to be an opportunity for you to get away and disconnect, it’s important to be available in case of an emergency. Whether you get someone to house sit or you ask your neighbors to keep a watch, you should always give them a mode of contact such as your email, phone number, or even the number where you’re staying. If your goal is to stay away from all technology, just be sure to check in once a day to make sure everything is fine.
Set your home security system alarms
One of the best and easiest ways to protect your home, whether you’re at home or away, is a home security system. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology reported about 60 percent of convicted burglars said the presence of a security system influenced their decision to target another home. Don’t let that other home be yours. There are several companies out there that offer no contract, affordable, and easy to use systems that you can set up yourself. Also, if you’re heading out of the country and you know you won’t have cellular service, you may want to consider temporarily changing your emergency contacts when the home alarm system is triggered. This is where friends, family, and your trustworthy neighbors come into play.
Share your pictures after you get back
Even though it’s incredibly tempting to share how amazing everything is on vacation, try your best to hold off posting on social media before and during your trip (especially if your profiles are public). This broadcasts to the world that you’re planning to be away, or that you’re currently away, and your home is unoccupied. You’d be surprised on the capability for burglars to find out that you’re away, look up your address, and break into your home. Also, you may even gain the added benefit of enjoying and experiencing your vacation without technology!
The next time you’re planning a vacation, take a moment to consider these four simple tips. Not only can they help you relax, but they can ensure that everything is safe at home. Let me know how they work out for you, or any other tips you have, and safe travels!
Here’s a Worry-Free Travel Checklist before you take off: