Summer is the time for vacations. I’m not sure who decided that, but that’s the way things are. Schools are out, beaches are crowded, and people are on the move. But, while you’re out of town, it’s important that your home stay safe while you’re gone. The following are ten vacation safety tips for your home. If you’re planning to be out of town this summer, utilizing these tips will help keep burglars at bay.
1. Don’t announce your vacation on social media websites (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Privacy settings change all the time on those sites, and that status could alert untrustworthy people about your empty home. Waiting until you return to post photos and comments about the vacation is your best bet. I’m not a suspicious person, but I never check-in places on social media, because I don’t like announcing that I’m not home.
2. Along that same line, don’t leave a voice mail message on your phone that tells others that you are out of town for long. You never know if this information can be misused.
3. Keep eyes on your property. Maybe not your own eyes, but having someone in the area check your house periodically is a good idea. If you have a trustworthy friend or relative who can house-sit while you’re gone, that’s even better.
4. Maintain a “lived in” look of your house while you are away. Having your lights on a timer is one way. Another is to have a neighbor park
their car in your driveway so it appears someone is coming and going.
5. Don’t hide a key under the fake rock/door mat/potted plant/etc. It’s really not a good idea.
6. Don’t leave valuables such as lawn mowers, bicycles, or tools in the yard or in an open or unlocked garage or shed (your tools could be used to break into your home).
7. Turn off or unplug your garage door opener. If you have an attached garage, lock the door between the garage and the rest of your home.
8. Stop mail and newspaper delivery. The Postal Service will hold your mail for up to 30 days. You can stop your mail in person at any post office or request Hold Mail Service online.
9. This one might sound silly, but be sure all windows and doors are locked. In reality, you should always be safe and keep them all locked, even when you aren’t out of town. But if you live in a safe area, it might not be something you are concerned with on a day to day basis. Most break-ins are ones of opportunity, a burglar would much rather not do a lot of work. And an unlocked window might just be the perfect opportunity.
10. If you have the money, getting a professional security system installed is obviously going to make your home safer. These can be very pricy, but could pay for themselves in the long run.
Follow these steps, and it will help you relax on your vacation knowing your home is secure.