A vacation should be a time away from stress and worries. Don’t let your trip away from home be interrupted with concerns about home security. Follow these tips to ensure your home is protected while you are away.
Use Landscape Lighting and Timers on Indoor Lights
Burglars prefer to do their deeds unseen, and most will avoid homes that seem occupied. Use solar-powered landscape lights that come on automatically at dusk in addition to motion-detecting lights. Place the latter near exterior doors and windows.
Indoors, place several lights on timers to turn on at intervals throughout the day and evening.
Cancel Newspaper and Mail Delivery
Nothing says no one is at home like newspapers collecting in the yard and an overflowing mailbox. Call your newspaper and post office in advance to cancel delivery during your vacation.
In case the newspaper or mail service makes a mistake and delivers anyway, it is a good idea to have a neighbor or friend check your home weekly to make sure papers and mail are not piling up.
Check Your Home Insurance Plan
When you are away from home and unable to keep a close eye on everything, it is especially important to have good insurance coverage for problems that can arise. A home warranty will cover repair or replacement costs of many large appliances and home systems, such as your refrigerator, washer and dryer, HVAC system and plumbing. Most home warranties also cover electrical problems and roof damage.
Use an Automated Alarm System
If you do not already have a home alarm system, now is the time to get one installed. Choose a reputable company who has live operators on call 24 hours a day. Locks on doors or windows can be broken, but the sound of a wailing alarm is enough to drive many burglars away. In addition, when burglars feel a house is secured this way, they won’t even attempt to break in. Use the signs the alarm company gives you and display them in both the front and backyards.
Use Smart Technology
Take advantage of new technology to protect your home during your vacation. Wi-fi capable home devices, such as cameras, thermostats and lighting enable you to keep a closer eye on your home while away.
Through a variety of Smart phone apps you can also control several things, such as door locks, lights, or the temperature setting on your thermostat.
Schedule Landscape Service
In summer, a vacation usually includes having someone mow your grass while you are away. In winter, it can mean having someone clear snow from walkways and driveways. A neglected landscape can draw a burglar’s interest to your home because it is like posting a sign in the yard that you are away.
Care for Plumbing
The biggest plumbing risk is in winter due to the potential for frozen pipes. Avoid burst pipes and damaging flooding by shutting off the water supply.
In warm weather, you won’t have to worry about frozen pipes, but you should still consider shutting off the water if you will be gone for two weeks or longer. This prevents flooding if something springs a leak. However, to keep everything working well when you are gone at length, have a trusted friend visit your home to turn the water back on and let water run through faucets and flush toilets once a month.
Use Caution on Social Media
It can be tempting to talk about your upcoming trip or to post photos of places you are visiting, but it is safest to keep your vacation plans quiet until after you have arrived safely home. Assume that potential burglars can view anything you write on a public platform.
When it comes to safeguarding your home, there is no such thing as being overly-cautious. It is better to practice an abundance of caution and arrive to a safe, secure home than it is to skimp on security measures. When you take care of home security and safety factors in advance, you will be able to enjoy more peace of mind while you are away.