Keep Your Home Secure While on Vacation
by Wendy VanHatten
After a long weekend relaxing in San Francisco or two weeks on that dream trip to Paris, you pull into the driveway and think, “Funny, I swore I closed that window.”
Most travelers worry about getting their wallets stolen or passports grabbed while away from home and in unfamiliar territory. But, you should also take steps to protect your home while you are away.
You could hire a house sitter, especially if you will be gone for a longer time. If that doesn’t work for you, then these ideas may save you the grief of returning home to a robbed house.
Take a critical look at your home and find any security lapses. Think like a burglar. Look for quick things to grab, like an iPad on the counter or purse on the desk. If you leave your car in the garage, don’t hang the keys on the hook by the door. Perhaps rethink your hiding places for jewelry or cash.
Keep it clean
Even if you stop the mail and paper delivery, there may still be flyers left hanging on the door or in the driveway. Ask a neighbor to pick up anything that may be dropped on the doorstep or driveway.
Make your house look normal
If your blinds or curtains are usually left open, leave them open. If lights are always on…leave a light on. It’s a good idea to leave an outside light on for several days prior to leaving. Then, be sure to leave it on when you leave. It will look normal to anyone passing by.
Think about trash days
If you’re gone for a longer time and your trash pick-up occurs during that time, ask a neighbor to take out your trash. Ask them to bring the can in, as well.
Mow your lawn
Right before you leave, mow your lawn. If you are gone for several weeks, ask someone to mow it while you’re away.
If you use an alarm service, notify them of your trip.