Are you ready for a long deserved trip to a far off paradise? Well, everyone deserves a little time off from work and managing family life. A wonderful holiday can reinvigorate and relax. However, do not forget to include precautionary measures to protect your home against possible thieves and burglars who could attack your abode while you are away. Based on the data from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a burglary happened every 13 seconds in the United States during 2016.
Implementing a well thought out security plan will make your house safe and help protect your belongings and property while you are relaxing in a faraway place. Adequate home security will give you valuable peace of mind while on your adventure.
Here are important some home safety tips that you can adopt before you leave for vacation:
- Asking someone to stay at your house while you are away
Having someone stay at your house while you are on vacation is one of the best ways to ensure that your home is safe and secure. You can ask relatives or friends to temporarily move in while you are away. Having a trusted person in your home will ensure that there is someone to do such household chores as watering the plants, feeding the pets and picking up newspapers and mail. You can also seek the help of companies that offer house-sitting services if you cannot find someone to watch over your property. You just have to prepare an additional budget for this service as this can be a costly alternative.
- Temporarily stop newspaper delivery
It’s important to temporarily stop your delivery service as piled up newspapers in front of a home will indicate that it is unoccupied. Burglars and thieves who are looking for prospective targets will notice this and your home could be at risk.
- Temporarily stop mail delivery
When going on a vacation, don’t forget to contact your local post office and ask that your mail deliveries be temporarily stopped while you are on vacation. Thieves often check mailboxes for uncollected mail when trying to determine if a house is occupied. Post offices in the U.S. can hold mail from 3 to 30 days. The United States Postal Service offers a free stop mail request online. You just need to input your mailing address, as well as the stop and start dates in your online application.
- Inform your neighbors that you will be away and ask them to watch your home for any suspicious activity
You should inform your neighbors that you are going on vacation and ask them to check your house once in a while. They can pick up advertising materials that were left at your gate or door by salespeople. You can also give them your itinerary and contact number so that they can contact you in case of an emergency or to warn you of suspicious activity.
- Lock up/secure all possible entry points
Be sure to lock up all possible areas where burglars or thieves can enter your house such as the back door, front door, garage door, windows, and pet doors. You can use deadbolts, dowels or locking pins to secure sliding-glass doors and windows. You should also switch off your electronic garage-door opener and padlock your garage door track as clever thieves have ways to bypass garage door openers.
- Do not announce your plans on social media
Refrain from talking about your vacation plans or location on social media. You should also exercise caution when discussing your plans in public places. It is advised that photographs and travel blogs should only be posted on sites like Facebook and Twitter after you return home. When publishing photographs online while still on vacation, you should remove the geotags using a metadata removal tool, or shut off the geotagging feature on your smartphone.
- Ensure that all non-security-related home appliances are switched off
Before leaving your house, be sure that all appliances that are not related to home security like air conditioners, refrigerator, and television are unplugged to avoid any electrical issues or a possible fire. You should also make sure that there are no perishable goods left in the refrigerator to avoid inconvenience when you are back. Not only is this good practice, it also saves you money on electric bills while you are away.
- Set up burglar alarm, as well as timers for lights
Be sure to set your burglar alarms or smart doorbells if equipped and inform your alarm service provider that you will be on vacation. You can also provide the alarm company with a list of individuals to contact in case of emergency. You can install timers that switch on the interior lights for several hours at nighttime to create an illusion that you are at home. Leave window blinds and curtains in normal daytime positions to make it appear that your house is occupied.
- Ask the local police to conduct extra patrols around your property
Inform your local police department that you will be away and ask them to monitor your property if possible. Police departments in various U.S. states conduct extra patrols to discourage crimes around unoccupied homes and businesses.
A home security system is the best, proven method for an effective deterrent against property crimes and vandalism. Installing one in your home is a sure way to boost security whether you are on vacation or not. Modern security systems also have features that allow you to monitor your home in real time while you are away or respond to monitored services and alert the police if necessary. Home security systems, including DIY systems are inexpensive, easy to install and extremely effective. Many online retailers offer a wide variety of systems from simple to advanced and most homeowners can easily afford the safety they provide.
Don’t have your next vacation ruined by a property crime. Take the time to prepare your home and take some extra precautions before you leave. Coming home to a secure home with all your belongings safe will be the best gift that you can give to your family.