Vacations are supposed to be all about having a great and memorable experience. Theft is the last things anyone wants to deal with when coming home from vacation. Many people don’t think about protecting their home when they go on vacation. Those that do think about it many times do not do anything to prepare for it. Below are some ideas to protect your greatest asset while you are away.
Notify Neighbors and Police: Alert your neighbors that you'll be away on vacation. Make sure they're aware of how long you will be gone and who should and should not be around your home. If you are going to be away for an extended period of time, ask a close neighbor or friend to stop by occasionally to bring in the mail and change the position of your blinds and lights. You can also alert your local police department of when you're leaving and returning so they can periodically check on your home. Give both neighbors and local police your emergency contact information.
Do Not Notify Everyone Else: Never leave a voicemail on your answering machine that says you are away on vacation. Also, while it can be very tempting to post your vacation plans on social media sites, keep in mind that you are also alerting potential criminals that your home will be vacant. The less people that know about your planned vacation ahead of time, the better.
Use Locks and Alarms: Make sure all of your doors and windows are closed and locked. Set alarms and inform your alarm company that you will be away on vacation. Remove all outdoor spare keys, no matter how well you think they're hidden. Provide a spare key to a trusted neighbor in case of emergency.
Keep Up Appearances: Invest in a variable light timer. This will allow you to program the lights in your home to go on and off in different areas throughout the day and night. Don't close your curtains all the way thinking you can prevent potential robbers from looking in. This will have the reverse effect of looking unnatural during the day and keeping neighbors from spotting suspicious activity in your home. It is best to keep your curtains as you normally would during the day. Have a neighbor pick up your mail or newspapers, or call your post office or newspaper office to have them hold your mail if you are going to be away for an extended period of time.
Conserve: Set your heat to a lower temperature, but don't turn it off during the winter because your pipes could freeze. Unplug all of your appliances and any other electronics that do not need to be plugged in while you're gone. Do not turn off electricity because you need it for heat, lights, etc.
Protect Your Valuables: Make sure your valuables are securely locked up in a safe. Do not leave any cash, jewelry, or other valuables out, which robbers can quickly and easily take from your house. Before going on vacation is also a great time to update your home inventory list. Take photographs of your belongings and, if you have them, include receipts. In unfortunate circumstances, this will help you figure out what's missing and will speed up the insurance process if you have to file a claim.
Whether you're going away for a weekend, or a couple of months, it is important to make sure your home is safe while you're away. The tips in this article can help give you the peace of mind to enjoy your vacation, and hopefully you will return to find your home in the same condition you left it in.