How to Keep Your House Safe While You are Away

In March 21, 2016

Are you about to go on vacation? The excitement of a much needed break can often leave people blind to the safety of their home while they are away. Part of vacation planning should always include a plan on how to keep your house safe while you’re away. Here are a few simple steps you can take to make sure your home will stay the way you left it while you are on vacation, and let the stress truly slip away during your trip!

  • Have a house/pet sitter stay in your home while you are on vacation. When you have someone you trust stay in your home, you know ’you’re covered in case of an emergency and someone is there to take care of daily tasks. A house is also much less likely to be targeted by robbers if it looks like someone is home. If you do not have someone who can stay in your home while you are gone, see if they can at least visit the house daily to pick up mail, take care of the plants, have a car in the driveway, or turn on the lights.
  • If having someone stay in your home does not work for you, you can invest in light timers. Set some outdoor and indoor lights to turn on at different times each day. By using this strategy, instead of turning the lights on and off at the same time daily, you are also less likely to be targeted by a robber. Since strangers won’t be able to pinpoint a schedule or pattern in your lights being on and off it makes it harder to identify a time they can attempt an entry.
  • If you cannot have someone pick up your mail for you daily, you can also place a temporary hold at the post office. By doing this, your mail won’t pile up and won’t tip off strangers that the homeowners are out of town.
  • Make sure all windows and doors are locked and secure prior to leaving for your trip. You can double check that all locks work on the doors and windows, especially basement or cellar doors and windows. The night before you leave, do a quick run through of your home to make sure everything is locked and the day of your trip, be sure to lock all your doors.
  • Have a hide-a-key? For the duration of your trip either give it to the home sitter or bring it inside.
  • Be careful how much you post about your upcoming trip on social media. Everyone loves to share pictures and status of their trip with friends, but you may be better off saving those posts until you are back home. If you share them while you are away, you run the risk of alerting people that your home is empty.
  • Unplug any unnecessary electronics to protect them from power surges and damage.
  • Turn down the heat while you are away to save money and also run the heating system less. If you live in a cold weather area, be sure to leave the heat on just enough to ensure your pipes will not freeze.
  • Purchase a lockbox or safe to put valuables in while are you away. This should be done regardless of whether or not you have a house sitter, because accidents happen. There could be a storm, the house sitter may have friends over, etc. It is a good idea to lock away the items you would be lost without.

Making sure your home will be safe while you are away is just as important as making sure you’re prepared for your vacation. Use these steps and really enjoy your trip with one less thing to worry about while you are away! If you need any other help preparing for your trip, such as learning how to get a passport or birth certificate, visit VitalChek.com for more information.

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