Going on vacation should be a time of great adventure and joy. Yet, for many, it’s a time to stress about all the things that could go wrong back at home. To help get you into a spirit for adventure, here are 10 ways to keep your house safe so you can enjoy your journey in peace, and not in pieces.
Open windows and visible home interiors present a major temptation for would-be thieves.
A good set of blinds for your home offers you protection from leering eyes, as well as providing climate control. Blinds can give your windows a feeling of impermeability – adding to the overall security of your property.
You’ve Got Mail
An overflowing mailbox is another sign to potential thieves that your home is there for the taking. Arrange for collection or holding of your mail items while you’re away by either getting a friend/neighbor to collect your mail, or arrange for the post office to hold your mail. A small action like this will prevent your mail from being stolen, or worse, enabling the burglary of your property.
Houses with people in them generally have signs of activity like lights, sounds or actions.
In order to present the effect of an occupied house, you can set automatic timers to turn innocuous noise-making items like the television on. You can also program lights to come on and off at regular intervals.
If you’re more worried about the threat of fire or damage than burglary, a simple action you can perform is to turn your power off at the mains as you’re leaving. This will ensure that your electrical items don’t go haywire while you’re away.
It’s important to note and check whether any security or essential systems are connected to your mains power – if these are, you may have to settle for unplugging your electrical items while you’re away.
Another potential sign to burglars that a house is unoccupied is wilting or otherwise unhappy plants. Make sure to either use timed watering systems, or to arrange for a friend or neighbor to regularly water and maintain the garden. Any regular newspaper deliveries or other potential lawn debris should also be either temporarily suspended or collected by friends or neighbors as soon as possible.
Sensor lights are lights which are controlled by a motion-detecting sensor – perfect for illuminating any would-be intruders. Sensor lights make an affordable and easily maintained addition to your property, and they are an especially brilliant idea for those who travel frequently or otherwise leave their property unattended for stretches of time.
Love Thy Neighbour
A basic and especially important step to take while planning your travels is to make copies of important documents (passports, insurance policies) and leave copies with trusted friends or neighbors. Also important is to let these friends or neighbors where you will be at any given time; leave them a printed timetable which includes contact details (should the worst happen).
An often unthought-of safety suggestion: resist posting on publicly accessible social media about your upcoming holiday. The last thing you want to do is advertise your departure. Social media accounts often detail your lifestyle to the extent that a potential thief may even know which TV you have. Don’t make it any easier for them.
Arrange for a trusted friend to check up on the house and perform some of the other tasks mentioned on this list (watering the plants and retrieving the mail). To have a person coming and going from your house will provide some much-needed activity for any eyes surveilling or staking out your premises for nefarious purposes.
Hold The Key
Another way to give yourself maximum peace of mind while on vacation is to arrange to have a new lock fitted before you go. A new lock will ensure that a minimum amount of key copies are floating around, making it harder for any previous tenants, tradespeople or others to use previous keys to access your property.
A few simple preparations and some well-wrought plans are all it takes for your vacation to go wonderfully – without the constant stress of something going awry back home.