Do you worry about your home when you leave to go on a trip? Check this list before you leave, these handy tips may help increase your peace of mind while you’re away.
Before you leave, you’ll want to create the illusion that somebody is still home!
- Set your lights on timers to go on and off at different times in different rooms, preferably when they would when you are home.
- Create the sound of someone at home by programming or setting a time for your radio, sound system, or television to turn on and off.
- Leave a car in the driveway – even better, have a close family member, friend, or neighbor park there or move it from side to side occasionally.
- If you normally leave a hose uncoiled in the yard or a few toys around – do so. The idea is to look like things are normal!
Consider your windows. Should you leave your curtains or blinds closed — or open? You may think closing your curtains will prevent people from peering inside your home. However, closed curtains also stop those who aim to help — the police, your neighbors, or friends — from seeing inside your house. So, leave your curtains exactly as you usually keep them when you are at home. Remember – you want to create the illusion that things are normal. Of course, never leave expensive items, like jewelry or computers, out where they are visible from the window.
Keep the outside neat. If you are going on an extended trip, arrange to have your lawn mowed. Nothing signals “not home” stronger than an unkempt yard, especially one that is normally regularly manicured.
Run by the post office (or go online) and ask them to hold your mail. Cancel any deliveries scheduled for that week. Or you could ask a trusted friend or neighbor to collect them for you while away.
Stow away your valuables and important papers. Lock up any valuable jewelry, deeds, titles, and small electronic devices. Thieves want to get in and out fast, carrying as many valuables as possible, so things that are small and easily transported are targets. If you don’t have a safety deposit box, store these types of items in a fireproof lockbox. Great places to put the lockbox are in children’s bedrooms or playrooms, the laundry room, garage or kitchen. Thieves will always look in master bedrooms and living spaces where adults hang out.
Remove Your Spare Key(s). If a criminal figures out you’re away on vacation, it’s likely that they will first check your porch and obvious locations for a spare key. That plastic rock or hiding place under a mat/flowerpot won’t fool them.
Keep quiet on social media. Don’t announce you are leaving or your whereabouts right before or during your vacation. Many of us enjoy keeping up with friends and family on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. The perceived anonymity of the Internet can encourage us to share personal information without fully realizing that there could be complete strangers viewing our daily musings. So try to refrain from posting those pre-vacation thoughts and plans and hold off posting pictures and statements showing you at locations away from home until later.
Be careful what you say on your voicemail or email auto-response. People trying to reach you don’t need to know that you’re out of town — they just need to know that you can’t respond right now.
Then, for the highest level of assurance, alert your:
Home Security Company – double-check that your door and window alarms are activated before you leave. Also, leave a house key and the code with someone you trust and provide the police and alarm company with their name and phone number.
Consider adding a camera or video doorbell to your home security system so you can check on your home while you are away.
If your home is not monitored, consider adding that service for 24/7 protection.
Right before leaving – to save yourself and the environment – Pull the Plug! Disconnecting the power to electronics, like computers, routers, televisions, and other appliances can save you money while you’re gone and eliminate the worry. Turning off your garage door opener is also an effective way to keep thieves from opening it with a universal remote. Finally, never leave a portable GPS in your car when parking at the airport. It’ll alert thieves that you’re not home and give them a convenient map to your house.
We at Secur-Tek wish you and your families a safe and worry-free vacation holiday!
Following both the Energy Saving and Vacation Home Security Checklists will help give you and your family peace of mind while away on vacation.
Enjoy your vacation and come back refreshed and ready to go!!