Tips on keeping your home safe while traveling
Vacations may be our time to relax and unwind, but it can be hard to stop worrying about what we leave behind – especially our homes. The following tips can help keep your home safe while you are traveling.
- Avoid posting on social media
When preparing to leave for a well-deserved vacation, many of us want to share our excitement with family and friends by posting about it on social media. However, this unintentionally also lets thieves and criminals know you will be away from home. Instead, avoid posting photos or statuses about your trip until after you return.
- Set lights on a timer
Leaving a few lights on is a great way to give the impression that someone is home – unless they blaze all through the day and night, which is a dead giveaway no one is there. Instead, invest in timers for a few lights or lamps around the house; having the lights turn on and off at natural intervals can make it seem like there is someone flipping the switches.
- Stop the mail
Stop by the post office – or fill out an online form – to stop the mail for the duration of your trip. This not only reduces the risk of mail theft, but also prevents mail from accumulating in – or spilling out of – the mailbox.
- Unplug appliances
Unplug chargers, appliances, or other items that will not be in use while you are gone. Not only does this save on your electric bill, but it also reduces the risk of damage from unexpected power surges. Depending on the length of your trip, you many want to even consider unplugging major appliances such as ovens or microwaves.
- Ask a neighbor to watch your house
Most homeowners do not need to hire a house sitter for short trips. However, it is always worth letting a few neighbors know you will be gone, or even leaving one or two with a spare key. This allows them to keep an eye out for suspicious activity, such as unknown vehicles parked out front; likewise, leaving a spare key can allow them to enter your home and check for damage in the event of power outages, water leaks, and more.