The purpose of a vacation is to relax, unwind, and take a break from everyday life. But when you’re on vacation, do you sometimes find yourself wondering if your home is safe without you?
You should not spend one second of your vacation that way.
There are a few easy things you can do so you’ll never have to worry about your home again. Here are nine tips for keeping your home safe while you are on vacation.
Lock Your Doors and Windows
This goes without saying, but before you pack the car or head to the airport, spend a few extra minutes making sure that every single door and window is locked.
It doesn’t matter if you live in a safe neighborhood without crime (actually, there’s no such thing). Regardless of whether you live in a densely populated city or a rural town without neighbors in sight, take the time to lock everything.
And we mean everything. Your garage door, your back door, all those second story windows … they should all be locked!
Keep It Lit
When thieves see a dark house, they assume it’s an empty one. Keep your home lit by setting a few indoor lights on timers. At the very least, mount a sensor light outside so that if anyone does approach your home, the light will instantly go on.
Invest in a Security System
Before you take your next trip, invest in a home security system such as ADT Authorized Premier Provider. With these home monitoring systems you can help protect your home with indoor and outdoor cameras, doorbell cameras and smart monitoring systems for 24/7 protection against break-ins and things like fire and CO leaks.
If you have a home security system, make it known. Make your outdoor cameras visible to deter thieves from even trying to break in. Display a sign from your alarm company in your yard so everyone knows your home is protected.
Have Someone Pick Up Your Mail
If you’re only going to be gone for a few days, ask a neighbor or a nearby friend to pick up your mail while you’re away. If you’re going out of town for an extended time or don’t have anyone you can rely on, contact the postal service to hold your mail for the entire length of your trip.
You should also have a plan for UPS, Amazon and FedEx packages. Try not to order anything right before you leave that might arrive while you’re away.
A full mailbox and unopened packages on the porch are telltale signs that no one is home. And if you want to keep your home safe, you’ll want to make it look like someone is there at all times.
Keep Taking Care of Your Yard
Do you have a lawn service visit your home every week to mow your grass? If the answer is yes, don’t even tell them you’ll be away, just have them come to your home as scheduled.
This rule applies to anyone that routinely does outdoor upkeep on your home, including pool services, gardeners and other maintenance professionals.
Your neighbors surely know your routine, so the trick is to make it look like it’s business as usual at your house, even while you’re far away.
Lock Your Valuables in a Safe
Don’t leave things like checkbooks, jewelry, credit cards or weapons lying around. All of your valuables should be locked up in a safe place before you leave for vacation.
The best move is to invest in a heavy-duty safe that’s either bolted to a wall or to the floor. That way, if an intruder does get in while you’re away, they won’t be able to just pick it up and take it with them.
Don’t have a heavy safe? At the very least, invest in a lockbox. Stash your valuables inside and hide it somewhere that’s not obvious, like a false bottom drawer or under a garbage bag (with garbage in it) inside a trash can.
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Turn Off the Water
Hot water heaters don’t last forever. They can rust and leak at any time, and for some reason, they always seem to do so when you’re not at home.
Before you leave for vacation, turn off the main water valve in your home. That way, you won’t come home to a flooded basement.
Don’t Talk About Your Trip on Social Media
It can be tempting to want to talk about your trip to your friends on social media, but this is the worst thing you can do.
Thieves are always looking for opportunities, so don’t make it obvious that your home is going to be unoccupied. Never post the details of when you’re leaving or when you’re returning from a trip. It’s also best to avoid posting vacation photos while you’re away.
Remember, photos taken with smartphones and tablets are geotagged. A smart thief can look at that photo and know exactly when and where you took it (and know that your entire household is far away).
You should be more concerned about keeping your home safe than trying to make your Instagram followers jealous with photos of you lounging on the beach or posed in front of famous landmarks.
Protect Your Home at All Times
Vacation is not the only time you should think about protecting your home. Protection and safety should be of top concern every day of the year, whether you’re home or not.
Water damage and fire damage can happen at any time. Appliances can break and cause deadly carbon monoxide leaks.
To protect your home as thoroughly as possible, consider investing in an appliance warranty protection plan such as Guaranteed Home Warranty. A warranty like this will fix or replace appliances that aren’t working as they should (and prevent greater and more expensive damage from occurring).
The more preventative steps you can take before you go on vacation, the easier it will be to relax and enjoy your time away from home!
How Do You Keep Your Home Safe While You’re on Vacation?
There are nine easy things you can do to protect your home while you’re away on vacation:
- Lock your doors and windows
- Keep it well-lit
- Add a security system
- Have someone pick up your packages and mail
- Continue with outdoor services, such as lawn care and pool maintenance
- Lock your valuables in a safe
- Turn off the water main
- Avoid mentioning your trip on social media
- Protect yourself with a home warranty system
With these safety measures in place, you can pack your bags, hop a plane, and jet off to an exciting destination and rest assured that your home will be safe and sound when you return!
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