Is your home safe?
In the hustle and bustle of getting ready to go on vacation we prepare for many things. But for many of us we forget about protecting our home while we travel. We have compiled a few tips about what to do about the place you will be leaving behind, your home. If you are able to do just a few of them there is a better likelihood your home will be just the way you left it.
One of the times your home is most vulnerable is when it is left empty for an extended period of time. Darkened windows, unretrieved mail or newspapers and closed windows in hotter weather all advertise your absence to a potential burglar.
The best protection for your home during your absence is to have a house sitter. A friend you trust staying at your house can take care of your pets and/or plants in addition to making sure the house is inhabited. Have a neighbor check on your home while you’re away turning on lights, radios or TVs and opening and closing curtains will give your apartment the appearance that someone is home.
If you don’t have a friend or neighbor to house it or check your home while you’re away — perhaps even if you do – you should keep not only lights but also a TV or radio on a timer. If you’re like me and have your TV on almost all the time you’re home (NOTE: I don’t watch it, it’s just background noise while I work), the absence of the sound and that bluish light in the windows announces that you’re not there (besides it keeps my pets company as well).
Make sure whoever is checking your home while you’re away knows how to work your alarm system and who to call in case of a problem or emergency. Additionally be sure to leave contact numbers on how you can be reached as well. Unless you have a house sitter, stop your incoming deliveries. Nothing announces an empty home better than a stack of newspapers or an overflowing mailbox. Ask a nearby neighbor to pick up any packages delivered while you’re gone.
If you have a garden or plants on your balcony like many apartment complexes do, make sure someone is watering the plants regularly or put the plants where they can’t be seen. Plants slowly dying due to lack of water may announce your absence.
If you live in an apartment, check your lease. Many landlords require that you notify them if your apartment is going to be left empty for any period of time (this is so they can enter in case of emergency even if they can’t reach you). If you’ve got a house sitter this normally isn’t necessary.
Above is just some common sense tips, maybe they can help you jog you mind and you will think of a few others. There is nothing worse than coming home from a wonderful time on vacation to find that your home has been violated.