Vacation Safety, Part 1: Secure Your Home

Vacation season is upon us.  Most people will be leaving their home for a week or so during the summer months.  There are many things you can do to protect your house while you’re away.

  • Make sure your property is well-lit, the windows and doors clearly visible.  Burglars love thick shrubs and shadowy entrances.
  • Use timers on interior/exterior lights and a radio or TV to make it appear as if someone is home.
  • Make arrangements to have your lawn mowed, leaves raked or deliveries picked up.
  • Let a trusted neighbor know you’ll be away and when to expect you back.  Give them a phone number to contact you in case of emergency.  Also let inform them if you using a house sitter.  Give the trusted neighbor a key and ask them to walk through occasionally.  Things like a broken pipe or freezer can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time.
  • If you’re leaving your car at home, park it in its usual spot.  Or ask your trusted neighbor to park in your driveway.  Keep drapes and blinds in their usual positions.
  • Lock your doors.
  • Stop your newspaper and mail or get a neighbor to collect them for you. Same goes for any deliveries.  Have the same neighbor put out your trash and bring the can in as normal.
  • DON’T post your plans on social network sites, announce it on your answering machine, or otherwise broadcast your upcoming absence.  Tell your Facebook friends all about your trip AFTER you’re home.
  • Put valuables like jewelry in a safe deposit box.
  • If you have a home security system, use it.  It’s also a good idea to let your alarm company know you’ll be away and how to reach you.
  • Unplug small appliances.
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5 responses to “Vacation Safety, Part 1: Secure Your Home

  1. For those with pets: Instead of a kennel an in home pet sitter can be a way to help increase your home security. A sitter will come in care for the animals, who are much happier that they get to stay home instead of some place strange, and they do a walk through of the house each day. They also collect then mail so that you don’t have to stop delivery if you don’t want to and they take out the trash.

    Anything that would make the house look active and monitored is a help, I would think.

    Rayna

  2. Great post, Melinda! Lots of good points to think about.

  3. I feel like a broken record: great advice, as usual. ;-) Thanks!

  4. Great advice!

    Another suggestion for those with sliding glass doors – if they’ve got built-in chocks at the base, use them! If not, cut down an old broom handle and place it in the sliding channel for the door. It makes it harder to jimmy the sliding door open with a crowbar.

  5. Thanks, Gwen. And great suggestion, Charity.

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