10 Ways to Protect your Home While on Holidays
1. Make it Look like you’re Home (I always imagine the scene from “Home Alone”)
There are a handful of things you can do in order to create the illusion that there are people home. (Watch the first Home Alone movie for a completely over dramatic, but fantastic version of this). The first is extremely effective: Set your Lights on a Timer! A big sign that “someone is home” is if lights are turned on in the evenings – A pitch black house is a gold mine to burglars. If you really want to step it up a notch, another great idea is to set your Television on a timer as well! Some people may accidentally leave lights on here and there, but generally if a TV is on, someone is for sure home.
2. Exterior Maintenance
The are also things that you can do on the exterior front such as Leaving a Car in the Driveway, and getting a friendly, trusted neighbor to shovel your Sidewalk for you while you are away. Piled up snow is just as bad of a sign as piled up mail, plus the last thing you want when you return from your Holiday is a fine from the City!
3. Pause your Mail
Nothing says “We’re away on Holidays” quite like a giant pile of mail on the front porch or in the mailbox. If you get mail delivered directly to your door, call the company prior to leaving on your getaway. If your door step is one that receives flyers frequently, ask a trusted neighbor to pick them up for you daily to avoid them from piling up.
4. Emergency Contact (Just in Case)
There is no such thing as too careful. Find a trusted neighbor, family member, or friend in the area. (Preferably one who can see your house from theirs). Give them your contact information for where you are going on Vacation, and the best way to get a hold of you. Ask them to phone the police first if they see anything suspicious, then phone you second.
5. Make your Security Systems Apparent
If your alarm company supplied you with Signs, Stickers, or any other form of advertisements, put them up. (It’s a good thing to do even if you’re not away). Don’t have an alarm system? That’s okay, purchase a sign that states your house is equipped with an Alarm, preferably a sign that states the system is Active. If you really want to ensure your house’s safety, purchase fake security cameras. Put them up in a place that’s passable that you were trying to be sneaky, but still make sure they are in clear site for anyone who may be contemplating entering.
6. Unsafe Appliances
Disconnecting all of your house hold appliances is a great safety precaution to ensure no house damage. Unplug everything you can think of that could potentially cause a fire, or a flood.
7. Remove the Spare
Many people, especially those with children, have a hidden key in case one gets lost or forgotten! THIS is the time to remove that spare key from it’s hiding spot, and return it when you are home.
8. Heat the House, not the Neighborhood
While away in the winter, be sure to turn down the temperature of your thermostat. Not only can high running thermostats be hazardous, and potentially burn down your home in your absence, but chances are you are already spending a fortune on your vacation, so you might as well save some dough at home!
9. Hide the Valuables
Put all of our valuables completely out of site! Make sure absolutely nothing of great importance or interest can be seen from your windows or front door.
10. Informing your Security Company
If you have an alarm, it is always a safe decision to phone your company and let them know you will be away. Give them the dates of absence, and the dates of return, and let them know that if the alarm is tripped, it will Not have been by you.
I hope these Tips were helpful, and have a Happy Holiday Vacation this Year!