Don’t let the excitement of a well-deserved vacation distract you from the dangers of leaving your home unprotected. Plan your beach, camping, or city shopping vacation, but take precautions before you leave.
Before you leave the house, go over your home safety checklist.
Taking these steps will ensure that your home does not appear neglected and empty while you are away.
System of Security
A security system is a great way to protect your home, especially if you are going away for an extended period of time. Today’s systems can send alerts to your phone about any unusual activity, including broken windows.
Keep Your Mail
A growing stack of mail indicates that no one is at home. Before you go on vacation, call the post office and ask them to put a hold on your mail.
If you don’t want to go to the post office, have the person who keeps an eye on your house collect your mail for you.
Don’t share your vacation trip with anyone
You naturally want to share your joy – and possibly brag a little – with the people you interact with. This is not a good idea for ensuring the safety of your home while you are away.
Tell no one about your vacation plans unless they are close friends or family members you trust. You don’t want to advertise that your home is empty.
Unplug Every Appliance
To avoid electrical fires or power surges, unplug all unnecessary non-timed appliances, such as TVs, coffee makers, and lamps. Also, ensure that your smoke alarms are in working order and that you have a fire extinguisher on hand in case a house sitter needs to put out a fire. Consider purchasing homeowners or renters insurance because disasters can strike even the most well-prepared household.
Make Arrangements for Someone to Check In
Request that a friend come by to check on your house. The peace of mind you’ll feel knowing a friend is keeping an eye on things is well worth the cupcakes or cookies you’ll offer in exchange.
Think About Your Curtains
As strange as it may sound, your curtains, blinds, and shutters tell their own story to anyone looking to break into your home.
If you usually leave your shutters half-open or your blinds rolled up, closing them all at once will give your house a locked-down appearance that will scream “vacant” to anyone who is interested. Maintain your curtains, blinds, and shutters as much as possible in their original position.
Remove Perishable Foods
The last thing you want to come home to after saying goodbye to the beach or freshly powdered slopes is a stinky kitchen. Dispose of milk, fruits, and other perishables so that your house smells as good as it did when you left.
Avoid sharing information about your trip on social media.
Tipping off friends, acquaintances, and strangers about your vacation (depending on your privacy settings) is akin to entrusting an intruder with “checking on” your home. Post on social media only after you’ve safely returned.
Maintain Your Lawn
If you have a front yard, easily accessible backyard, or other outdoor space, it may be worthwhile to hire a friend or neighbour to mow your lawn. Unkempt, overgrown gardens, yards, and lawn areas are a dead giveaway that the house is vacant.