Whether it is for business or pleasure, we all have to go out of town sometimes. As a homeowner, it is important that you take steps to safeguard your home and possessions while you are away. Doing what you can to protect your home before you leave and during the time you are gone will give you the peace of mind you need to focus on your trip. Here are some tips for keeping your home safe when you travel.
Remember the Basics
Lock all doors and windows. Make sure you have turned off or unplugged any non-essential electronics, especially anything that could be a fire hazard. Keep your valuables locked away or at least in a secured place. If you have a garage and are leaving a vehicle behind, park the car in the garage (which should also be locked). Make sure all smoke detectors and other alarms have fresh batteries.
Utilize a Security System
Using a security system is a great way to protect your home and family both when home and away. With so many advances in technology in the past decade, you don’t necessarily have to have a professionally installed and monitored system; many people utilize cameras and security systems that they can install and monitor themselves. If you do use a monitoring company, let them know you are going to be away. If you use a camera or system you control and monitor yourself, such as a Ring or SimpliSafe system, be sure to check in on things while you’re away. In either case, ensure you have properly set the alarm before you leave.
Take Advantage of Smart Home Technology
As previously mentioned, there are many options for cameras and security systems that you can check while on the go. Beyond that, there are other smart home devices that can come in handy when you are away. Set lighting timers to turn some lights on in the evenings so it appears someone is home. Control your thermostat while you are away; you generally want to keep your thermostat a bit warmer in the summer or cooler in the winter when you are away, but be mindful of any pets or house sitters still in the house so it isn’t too uncomfortable.
Have Someone You Trust Stop By
When you are going to be out of town, you should either get a house sitter or have someone you can trust drop in and check on your home. This is especially important if you have pets you are leaving behind, but should be done regardless to ensure your home is still secure and no issues need to be addressed. You should have someone bring in your mail so it doesn’t build up in your mailbox which can not only inconvenience your mail carrier but can also signal to people that no one is home. If you do not feel it is necessary to have someone check in, you may want to at least tell a neighbor you trust that you are going to be away so they know to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.
Take Care of the Outside
Make sure your lawn is mowed and there are not excessive weeds. If you are going to be away for an extended period of time, you should consider having someone mow your lawn while you are away. If your yard appears overgrown and unkempt, it can look as though no one has been living in your home. Do not leave any spare keys around your home. If you are going to have someone drop in, either give them the key directly beforehand or keep it in a secure lockbox which they can access. If you have outdoor lights, try using timers for them as well to keep the area well-lit as though you were home.
Reconsider Sharing on Social Media
As tempting as it can be, you might want to think twice before posting that you are away from home on social media during your trip, especially if your profiles are public. Showing that you are out of town can entice those with bad intentions to vandalize or break into your home because they know there is a good chance no one is home.
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