7 Tips to Protect Your Home While On Vacation
Whether you are preparing to visit family for the holidays or you are heading south to your second home for several months this winter, it is important to take some steps to keep your home secure while you are away. Here is a handy checklist of steps you may want to take before leaving on your next extended trip:
- Hold Your Mail and Newspapers
- Ask a Friend to Keep an Eye on Things While You’re Away
- Keep That Driveway and Sidewalk Shoveled
- Your Home Should Look Lived In
- Don’t Talk About Upcoming Trips On Social Media
- Unplug Electronics
- Lock Your Doors and Windows
Piles of newspapers and a full mailbox are a sure sign to potential intruders that you’re out of town. You can avoid this problem by heading to the Post Office. They will stop your mail and hold it as a courtesy anywhere from 3 to 30 days. Or you can simply go online to set this up at USPS.com. Just enter your address and your start and stop dates for this service. Additionally, your local newspaper will also be happy to stop your newspaper delivery for the time you are away.
Ask someone you trust to stop by occasionally to remove sales fliers, Fedex delivery attempts, or yellow book deliveries. Besides mail, there are often miscellaneous items that can pile up at your door that may alert potential thieves you are not in town. As an extra precaution, let your friend know where your water main shut off is in case a pipe breaks. It certainly helps to winterize your home, especially before leaving on a long trip, to help prevent vulnerable pipes from freezing due to lack of insulation.
It’s also helpful to have someone that you can trust with a key and an alarm code, so they can help the police or guard service access your home in case of an attempted break in. Call us to update your alarm information with your friends name and phone number so that we may contact them in your absence while still keeping you updated as well. When necessary, a personal alarm code and password can be assigned for your friend, keeping your main code and password secure and only known by you.
Don’t have anyone you trust enough with your key? Use your smart home automation system so that you can unlock your doors and disarm your alarm for someone without having to entrust them with your key or an alarm code. When they arrive at your home, you can let them in at any time, from anywhere your are. Then you can lock up and reset your alarm system after they leave. Please call us and we can set this up for you before you leave town, if you are still unfamiliar with this service.
Snow buildup on sidewalks and driveways is a classic indicator to potential intruders that no one is home. To make sure this doesn’t become an issue, you could ask a neighborhood teenager to help you out with this task while you are away. Many teenagers are looking for a way to make a little money on the side. There are also snowplowing services that you can set up ahead of time as well.
Set timers on your lights to turn on for certain periods of time during the evenings. Oftentimes people think the easiest thing to do is leave their lights on while they are out of town. For an extended stay, however, keeping your lights glaringly on at all hours of the night will look out of place, not to mention what it can do to your electricity bill. A more prudent and economical solution is to set up timers on lights for regular intervals in the evening. For our customers, our smart home automation system can set your lights and thermostat to a timer system. You can even turn your lights on and off from a simple app on your phone. No matter where you are. If you forget to turn your thermostat down before you leave, there is no reason to panic. Simply turn the temp down on your smart home system from the airport, the Bahamas, or wherever you are.
It is common to want to share your excitement about your upcoming trip with your Facebook friends. But it is not always just your friends that are reading your posts. It is not uncommon for criminals to look online in the hopes of gaining more information about you or when your home may be left vacant. It is safest to wait until you are back home to post those exciting vacation pictures.
To protect your electronics from power surges while you’re away, unplug all of your unnecessary electronics such as TV’s, computers, even toasters. Also, many people are unaware that these items pull electricity even while they are turned off. So by doing this, you could be saving some money as well.
Do a thorough sweep of your home’s perimeter to be sure that all of your windows and doors are definitely locked. Remove that spare key you may have hidden outside as well. Turn off your garage door function before you leave to protect against thieves attempting to gain entry by using a universal remote to open your garage door.
We hope that this checklist will help you keep your home safe and secure while you are out of town this season. Find comfort in knowing that your home is not only well protected when your alarm is set, but that even just having a security system is a big deterrent to thieves. We wish you a safe and fun trip away this winter. Stay tuned for more safety tips brought to you by All Protection Alarm.