Security on the homefront
Vacations are a wonderful chance to escape, relax and recharge, and they’re especially rejuvenating when you can leave your worries behind. One way to stay worry-free is to make sure your home is safe and secure while you’re on the road having fun!
Independent Traveler has some great tips for keeping your home safe while you’re away.
- Ask a friend to keep an eye out. It’s a good idea to have a neighbor or friend you trust watch your house for you while you’re away. At the very least, ask them to drive by each day and have a quick look to see if all’s well. You may also want a friend or family member to go inside to water plants, feed your cat and bring your mail and newspapers inside.
- Keep it quiet. Don’t announce that you’re going away on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites. You obviously trust your friends and family, but you don’t know who else might have access to their accounts or who may see the things posted on their pages. You don’t want to tip off any criminals by accident!
- Maintain the status quo. If you keep your curtains closed when you’re home, keep them closed while you’re away. If they’re always open, same thing—leave them alone. Even little things like a change in curtain habits can be a signal to thieves that you’re not home.
- Invest in a light timer. The idea that it’s better to have lights on inside your home at night would seem to make sense, but aside from the fact that it’s a waste of electricity to have lights burning all night long, it’s also another one of those little changes that a thief might take notice of. Instead, buy a programmable light switch timer that can turn your lights on and off, giving the appearance that someone is home.
- Really hide that spare key. You may think it’s fooling everyone, but thieves know that’s a fake rock. Likewise, the hiding spot you think is foolproof probably isn’t—everyone knows to check under the doormat or in the mailbox. Give your spare key to the trusted friend or neighbor who is monitoring your house instead.
- Keep your porch neat. Nothing says, “we’re not home!” like a front porch littered with newspapers or a mailbox overflowing with mail. Have someone collect your papers, flyers and mail every day, just as you would.
- Pull the plug. Protect your appliances from power surges by unplugging them before you leave. This will also save you some money, since most appliances draw power even when they’re turned off.
- Call the police. If your house is in an isolated area, it’s worth letting the police know that you’ll be away (if you’ll be gone longer than a week or so). They may go out of their way to drive by your place every once in a while to make sure everything is okay.
It’s also a good idea to have a look at your home insurance policy before leaving for any length of time. Some policies may require regular home security checks to ensure that leaks or other damage didn’t happen before the owners left on vacation.
Chances are nothing bad will happen to your home-sweet-home while you’re away, but going the extra mile to protect the house you love is good common sense—and your vacation will be that much more relaxing knowing you’ve done everything you can to keep your house secure.
409679 CAN/US (04/15)