Now that spring has faded into summer, vacations begin to beckon us away from our routines for days filled with fun. But leaving for even a few days can make your property a prime target for break-ins, theft and vandalism, which is why we’re offering our best tips to help you mitigate the risks. Include these tasks as part of your pre-trip planning, and you’ll be able to get away – and come back – with more peace of mind.
1. Ask for Help
Call in a favor with a friend or neighbor and ask them to collect your mail and generally keep an eye on your home. You’ll be more inclined to relax knowing that anything unusual won’t go unnoticed, and while you can submit a request for the post office to stop delivering your mail for a specific time, it also alerts postal workers that nobody’s home. Be sure to leave a house key and a copy of your itinerary in case you need to be contacted.
2. Install Timers for Electronics
Another tried-and-true way to create the illusion that your home is occupied is to install electronics timers to turn your lights on and off at specific times of day and night. This is much more effective than leaving all your lights off or on, plus the latter can lead to a painfully high energy bill.
3. Lock Up Everything
It might sound like common sense, but it’s easy to overlook some locks that you don’t normally use. Even if you have an automatic garage door, lock it anyways or install a simple deadbolt. If you normally keep a spare key near the front door, put it inside. And if you have jewelry or other valuables you couldn’t stand to part with, invest in a safe and stash them there while you’re enjoying your trip. Taking these steps now will make your home less tempting for anyone looking for a home to burglarize.
4. Post on Social Media After Coming Home
In our constantly connected world it’s tough to resist the temptation to check in at the airport or post photos of popular landmarks and beautiful landscapes during a trip. In addition to letting your friends and family know you’re having fun, these posts also alert would-be burglars to the fact that you’re far away, giving them an invitation to come by your home unannounced with little risk of getting caught.
5. Shut Off Your Water
Coming home to a plumbing emergency quickly reverses any relaxation you felt on your trip. Take a moment before your leave to shut your water off so that a burst pipe doesn’t dampen your vacation memories.
While there’s no way to guarantee an emergency won’t happen, applying the tips in this list will keep you from worrying while you’re away so that you can fully focus on your well-earned vacation.