You’ve been working hard, and now you’re finally taking a vacation. You want to leave your worries behind, knowing that all will be well while you’re gone. Here are some timely tips to help keep your home safe so you don’t come home to stressful surprises.
Before You Leave
Make your house look lived-in! An empty house is like an open invitation to burglars:
- Ask a trusted neighbor to regularly pick up your newspaper, mail, and packages, and put them somewhere in your house that is not easily seen from outside.
- Park your car inside the garage, if you have one.
- Ask a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway, so there’s activity at your house.
- Put at least one light inside your house on a timer or ask your trusted neighbor to turn different lights on and off while you’re away.
- Install a motion-activated sensor on an outdoor floodlight.
- Arrange for snow removal or lawn mowing and watering so the yard doesn’t advertise that no one is home.
- Never leave a greeting on your voicemail saying that you’re out of town!
- Set up an email “away” message, without making it clear that you’re not at the house.
- Unplug home electronics and disconnect Internet access to computers.
- Unplug or turn off your WiFi routers, printers, monitors, laptops, desktops, etc., unless you need to access them while on your vacation.
- Notify your home security company of your travel plans. Furnish them with names and phones numbers of house sitters or caretakers, and provide your contact information.
- Disconnect the electric garage door opener receiver and/or engage the manual lock on the door. Remove any door openers and valuables from cars parked outside.
- In winter, shut off the water valves to the washing machine, the dishwasher, and all sinks to avoid flooding problems! (It’s not a security thing, but it’s a smart thing to do.)
- Contact your credit card companies and inform them of your travel plans.
- For ATM access, contact your bank to let them know you’re traveling.
- Check and lock all doors, windows and locks. Don’t overlook pet doors and the door between the garage and the house.
- Ask neighbors to periodically walk by your house and watch for any signs of trouble.
While You’re on The Road
Don’t post information or photos about your travels on any social media site. Thieves use these postings to identify potential break-in locations! Make sure everyone involved with your vacation follows this–including younger people, family, and friends you might be texting pictures to.
When You Return
Now’s the time to post those fabulous travel photos and stories!