The holidays are here which means many people are making their travel plans. The joy of spending time with family and friends during the holidays is priceless; however, coming home to a burglary or some other unexpected tragedy, can be devastating. Regardless of how near or far your travel plans take you, take the time to safeguard what may be your biggest investment… your home. Finding ways to protect your home during holiday travel can optimize your plans while minimizing the risks of something going wrong.
Don’t Let Your House be a Target
Making your travel plans this holiday season takes time, and so should ways to make your home look occupied while you are traveling. Burglars are less likely to target your house if you follow some basic tips.
Limit Social Media Posts- This may be hard for you and others. When traveling, it’s easy to want to post all the great times and pictures; however, all this does is let everyone know you are out of town and your home is empty. Try to refrain from posting social media posts until you return from travel.
Halt Your Mail- Mail piling up at your home is a red flag that you are out of town and your home empty. Ask the postman to stop your mail while out of town or ask a neighbor to collect your mail while gone.
Invest in a Light Timer- This way you can have your lights on a timer which will look like someone is there. You don’t need to spend a fortune on this feature, but it’s wise to invest in a smart plug that can control your lights anywhere with a simple app. A dark house screams your home is vacant which is a sure way to attract burglars.
Utilize Neighborhood Watch- Ask a neighbor, friend, or family member to keep an eye on your place as to detect any strange activity. This way, if they see anything unusual or suspect, they can let you know or go over to your property to see if anything looks tampered with. If something is unusual, they can contact the local law enforcement right away.
Plan for Trash Pickup- Either don’t put your trash bins out on the curb if you know you can’t move them back to their location, or ask someone to put them back after trash pickup. This applies to yard bins and recycle too.
Invest in Home Hi-Tech- Having your home set up with features like motion detectors, home alarms, ring doorbells, and motion/lighting detectors can be a deterrent to burglars wanting to target a home. Burglars don’t want attention drawn to them, so this is a great way to have them move along.
Other Home Considerations When You are Out of Town
If your travel itinerary is longer than a few days, you may want to make a quick checklist to keep your home safe while gone.
Lock Doors/Windows- You may be surprised how many people fail to do this. If someone wants to enter your home, don’t make it easy. Lock all doors and windows before you set off for vacation or travel.
Lower the Thermostat- When leaving for travel, go ahead and lower your thermostat, but be careful not to lower the temperature below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This could lead to freezing. By lowering the thermostat, it will give your furnace a break.
Turn off the Water- A leak can turn disastrous if unknown or while you are away from the home. If you are planning travel during the upcoming holidays, realize that freezing temperatures can lead to frozen pipes which may burst. As a precaution, go ahead and turn off the water main and drain the pipes by flushing toilets, running the faucets, and turning on showers. This way you can rest assured you won’t encounter leaks upon your return.
Unplug Electronics/Appliances- When you leave for your destination, make sure you unplug appliances not being used, such as television, washer, dryer, coffee maker, and toaster. Leaving them plugged in when not in use can drain energy from them.
Traveling to visit with family and loved ones should be stress-free and enjoyable. By doing a few precautionary measures, you can minimize the likelihood that something could go wrong. May your holidays be merry and bright!