When you’re busy packing for a wonderful family vacation, it’s easy to forget that you’ll be leaving your home unattended and unprotected for an extended period of time. Although, with a little luck, you’ll be able to avoid the heartache of theft, loss, and damage, it’s worth noting that the things you do (or don’t do), can have a huge impact on your risk.
Don’t let the excitement of an upcoming vacation stop you from protecting your home before you go. A few simple solutions could be enough to secure your valuable possessions, and ensure that you return to find your home exactly how you left it.
Make Sure You’re Always Watching
Just because you can’t physically be around to watch over your home doesn’t mean you can’t be vigilant. Consider installing surveillance cameras, which you can easily monitor online. You can even convert an old phone into a security camera, which you can monitor via an app on your newer phone.
And ask friends, family, or even your neighbors to stop by your home a couple of times while you’re gone and check that everything’s as it should be. Be sure they know how to reach you if there’s a problem — and make sure you thank them when you get back with a souvenir or a nice lunch.
Make It Look Like You’re Home
If you look like you’re still at home, there’s a good chance thieves will be less likely to target you. To accomplish the “still lived in” look, make it look like there’s activity around your home. Install motion-sensing lights outside, and put your indoor lights on a timer. Consider leaving an MP3 player on loop to fill your home with music, too. Anything you can do to make it seem like you’re still there can help.
Don’t Advertise Your Absence
When you’re having a wonderful time on vacation, you’ll want to share that experience with the world. However, you shouldn’t be constantly updating pictures on social media, as this simply advertises that no one’s around to stop a burglar. Wait until you get home from your trip to start posting pictures and vacation-related status updates.
Hide the Signs That You’re Away
Speaking of things that may suggest your absence, a huge pile of mail on your front doorstep is an obvious sign that no one’s home. If you’re going to be gone a while, either ask the post office to put your mail on hold, or arrange for someone to come and collect for you. Other ways to hide the signs you’re away include leaving a car in the driveway, arranging for someone to come and mow your lawn or shovel snow, and getting someone to put out the garbage.
Make Sure You Lock Everything
This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but while people often lock their doors before a vacation, they can frequently forget about other openings like garages, windows, and more. If you have a garage, consider disconnecting the electric opener and using a padlock instead. At the same time, while there’s a good chance you have a clever place to hide your spare key, don’t leave it outside when you’re on vacation. Instead, give it to your neighbor or a loved one for safekeeping.
Know Where to Keep Your Valuables
Sometimes, no matter what you do to keep your home secure, there’s still a risk that someone might get inside and start searching through your home for valuables. In this case, it’s important to protect the things that matter most. Ensure that everything from cash to valuable documents, jewelry, and other essential items are locked in a fire or burglary safe before you go.
Hire a Home or Pet-Sitter
This may be an expensive option if you don’t have a friend or family member you can trust to do the job for you, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to keep your home secure. A home and pet sitter can move into your property temporarily and ensure that everything continues to move along as normal, just as if you were there yourself.
Turn Everything Off
Finally, protecting your home when you’re on vacation isn’t just about being wary of criminals. You need to defend yourself from fire and damage, too. Make sure to turn all your faucets off fully, and turn off all appliances at the socket, except for your fridge/freezer. This will reduce your risks of floods and fires, while also saving you some cash on utility bills.
Protect Your Home Before a Vacation
A vacation can be an exciting and wonderful thing, but the last thing you want is to ruin your great memories when you return to a ransacked home. Take the time to defend your property and follow the tips on this checklist before you head off on your adventure, and you should leave your property safe and sound.
Western Safe has been selling safes to homeowners since 1945. Get in touch with us today and let us help you find the safe that’s right for your home.