You’ve planned a fun-filled, relaxing vacation for the holidays. Whether you’re hitting the Hawaii beaches for some sun, or traveling across the country to visit family, Winter getaways take a lot of preparation. You’ve packed your gifts, clothes, camera and necessities, but the one thing you cannot pack might be your most valuable possession – your home. Don’t forget to add in holiday home safety to your preparation list this year, so you can come home and continue the festivities. Use these easy tips to keep your home secure while you’re on vacation:
Think about notifying your local police department only if you’re going to be away for longer than a week. They may patrol past your home more frequently, if they know you are away. Let the police know your alarm company contact information, as well.
Talk to your friends and neighbors. Leave a house key with someone you trust, in case of emergencies. They’ll also be able to watch over your home for you while you’re away. An extra set of eyes never hurts! Ask them to bring your mail inside, as a full mailbox is a tip-off to criminals. This is also true of package deliveries or newspaper subscriptions. While inside, they can also water plants, feed pets and check on the house for you. You may also contact your neighborhood watch group, as they may be patrolling more during the holidays.
Your first instinct when leaving for vacation might be to close up the house, including your curtains. Consider leaving them open (or closed) as you would normally. Noticeable changes can be a sign that you aren’t actually there, especially for long periods of time. If friends or neighbors are dropping by routinely, ask them to open or close the curtains during times you regularly would do this. Make sure to place all valuables out of sight, as well.
If your neighbors can’t bring in your mail daily, think about going to USPS.com to have your mail held at your local post office while you’re away. It’s easy, and you can pick up all of your mail at once, when you return.
You don’t need to have the heat blasting as it is when you’re home, but keeping your furnace or heating system going is a good idea. Turn it up, just enough so that if a cold snap hits, your home doesn’t suffer. If a freeze occurs, your pipes could be damaged, and your water lines left frozen. Ask your friends or neighbors to stop by in case of inclement weather, as well, to test the faucets. Check out tips for home maintenance on your heating system and furnace to perform before leaving, as well.
Even when you’re appliances and devices aren’t “on,” if they are plugged in, they can still be drawing power. Unplug everything – not only to save on your electricity bill, but also to decrease the chances of fires and short circuits.
If you have a garage, park your vehicle inside and close the door before loading it up with your travel gear and gifts. This gives you privacy, and unsavory passersby won’t see you packing for a trip.
Before leaving, make sure that all windows are locked. If necessary, place a piece of wood above the lip of the window, so it can’t be opened. Attic and higher floor windows need the same attention – burglars know how to climb!
Even if you don’t have a security system or a large dog at home, signs can intimidate criminals and make them think twice about robbing your home. Put up signs on the back gates and back yard, as well as noticeable signs on your lawn and near your front door. You can even purchase a fake security camera with a flashing red light to detour robbers. This does not replace a real security system, but it might trick criminals. There are real security systems that are controlled by your smartphone, that make for easy observing of your home while you’re away!
If your appliances, plumbing, electrical system or HVAC have been acting up, get those fixed prior to leaving for vacation. The last thing you want when you return home, is to have a power outage or plumbing issue to deal with. Fixd Repair can make this process painless, affordable and easy. Download the Fixd app or go online to schedule appointments.
It may seem silly, but robbers are less likely to enter a home when they believe a large man is there. If you have to leave a vehicle in the driveway, place a pair of men’s gloves on the dashboard, or a pair of large workbooks in the front seat. You can also do this same trick with a pretend dog. Place “Beware of Dog” signs around your home, and leave a bowl and dog bone by your back door. These may thwart potential attacks on your home!
With these simple tips, you can be sure to enjoy your vacation, and come home to the house you remember. Don’t let criminals take advantage of your travel plans – protect your home and keep it secure while you’re on vacation!