Kids are finally out of school and summer vacations are beginning for everyone! Woo hoo! If you are planning a trip, whether near or far from your hometown, keeping your home safe is probably on your mind. If it's not, it should be because nobody wants to go on a fabulous vacation only to return to find they've been invaded. When you are traveling it's a good idea to take the necessary precautions to ensure your property and possessions are protected when you are away.
Here are just of few of those precautions you can take:
Hire a House Sitter
The presence of a house sitter can deter potential robbers because most robberies tend to occur when homes are vacant for more than a couple of days. If you don't hire a house sitter, at least have a neighbor keep an eye on the home. Have them collect mail and newspapers as well so that it's not abundantly obvious no one is home.
Leave the Place Organized and Lawn Manicured
If an intruder peeks in your window you don't want them to see your luggage that you didn't use stacked and the mess strewn about from where you packed in a hurry. This could allow them to speculate you're away. Cut your lawn right before you leave and if you will be gone a while, consider hiring someone to cut it while you're out.
Lock Away your Valuable Items
Money and high-cost items like jewelry, computers, television sets, digital cameras etc, are the main targets for criminals. Even if you don't clean your place completely before you leave, at least be sure that these items are not visible. In fact, consider locking your valuables in a safe and placing it in a concealed location to make your valuables difficult to find. This way, if someone does break in they will be less likely to get your good stuff. And, if you do have a safe, take the keys to it with you on your vacation.
Don't use Social Media to Announce Your Departure
Announcing your departure publicly on social media is a great way to tell would-be burglars that you're space will be empty. As tempting as it may be, don't do it! If you simply must state you're leaving for a trip, at least tag a relative/friend/neighbor with a “Thanks for house sitting post!” even if it's not true. Just remember, when you post that you will be away, the news could be seen by the wrong people that are not so trustworthy.
Consider Threats Such as Fire/ Natural Disasters as Well.
Although it's unlikely anything horrible will happen while you are away, it's not a bad idea to unplug all electrical appliances before you leave and even kick a few breakers to prevent the chance of electrical sparks that could start a fire. You can also shut off your water to prevent frozen and bursting pipes (seasonal). While you're at it, make sure your home owner's/ renter's insurance premiums are up to date. This way if something were to happen while you're away, you won't have to worry about whether or not there was a lapse in service.
All of this may seem like overkill, but like all things, it's better to be safe than sorry.
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