As the first day of vacation approaches, it can be difficult to remember everything that needs to be done! While it’s important to make sure you have all of your toiletries and the right hiking shoes, you also have to make a point to make sure your home is safe while you’re away.
Here’s a list of 9 things to do and check on prior to heading out on your long-awaited get away.
1. Lock your windows and doors
Naturally when you leave your house, you’re going to make sure the windows and doors are locked. There may be a few entry points that you aren’t so vigilant about locking (like second story windows, for example), but when you’re going away for an extended period of time, you’ll want to make sure to lock everything!
2. Put a hold on mail and paper delivery
If there’s a pile of newspapers on the driveway and the mailbox is full of mail, any curious burglar will see this and know instantly that no one is home. Unless you have someone to come by and pick up the mail and paper for you, we recommend contacting your post office and newspaper carrier and request a hold on delivery.
3. Install a security system
Not only are security systems key for keeping your home safe from burglars, they can give you peace of mind because they now connect to your smart device. Smart device compatible systems allow you to keep an eye on your property whenever you want and depending on the system itself, your home’s property value could increase.
4. Hire someone to do yard maintenance while you’re away
Depending on the weather and how long you’ll be gone, you may want to consider hiring someone to come by and take care of the yard work while you’re away. It doesn’t have to be anything extensive, but shoveling the walkways and driveway free of snow, mowing the lawn, or raking the leaves will give off the appearance that someone is home.
5. Use timers on lights and electronics
You have a routine and when you’re on vacation, you can give off the illusion that you’re home by putting timers on lights and electronics and setting the timers to turn on and off in accordance with your daily routine.
6. Leave a car in the driveway
If possible, leave a car in the driveway while you’re away. Burglars are less likely to hit a house when it looks like someone is at home.
7. Be mindful of what you say on social media
It’s understandable that you’ll want to tell your friends and family on social media about your vacation plans, but you don’t really know who’s watching. We recommend keeping your plan a secret (or, at least don’t mention anything online about your plans) and once you get back, you can talk all about it!
8. Lock up small valuables
If you’re going to be away for more than a few days, we recommend hiding your valuables (jewelry, small electronics, important documents, etc.). You don’t have to purchase a safe or anything (although that may be a good idea), but at the very least close the curtains and keep valuables out of plain sight.
9. Ask a friend to house sit
If you want an extra layer of security, you can’t go wrong with asking someone to house sit for you. Even if no one is able (or willing) to stay at your house until you come home, you could have someone pop by your place once or twice a day, give it a walk through and make sure stuff is safe and secure.
In all honesty, nothing is going to protect your house 100% – break ins can happen even when you’re at home asleep in your own bed! However, these suggestions are a good place to start. If you want to increase your home’s protection, you could install various devices for improved protection. This can include motion detection sensors for doorways and outdoor lights, a gate that requires a code to gain entry, and so on. If you decide to sell your house, those extra safety measures will be appreciated by potential buyers!