Are you planning a vacation but not sure how to keep your home safe while you’re away? It’s not as easy as just leaving the lights on anymore. Yet there’s plenty that you can do to be sure your house is secure with these tips for keeping your home safe while traveling. Find out about the new technology that lets you see who’s ringing your doorbell from 1,000 miles away. Plus, learn what you should hire the neighbor’s kid to take care of while you’re gone.
There’s a lot to think about when planning a vacation. You’ve got to check off your packing list, confirm reservations and make sure any necessary travel documents are up to date. The last thing you may be thinking of is keeping your home safe while you’re gone. However, it’s important to take a few precautions so you can be sure that you return to your house exactly as you left it. From alerting your security company to putting your lights on a timing system, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your home safe while you’re away.
Put A Hold On Mail And Newspaper Delivery
While many of us get our news online now, if you’re still having the paper delivered to your house, you’ll want to put it on hold. Nothing will alert people to the fact that you’re out of town faster than a big pile of newspapers in the driveway. The same goes for your mail. Ask a neighbor to check your mail or have the post office hold it until you return.
Give Your Home Security Company A Heads Up
If you have home security, it’s a good idea to let them know you’ll be out of town. That way they can alert the authorities right away if the alarms go off, rather than calling you first to be sure it wasn’t a false alarm.
Put Lights On A Timer
The last thing you want to do is leave the lights on 24 hours a day to make people think you’re home. It’ll look a little suspicious when your house is lit up all night, every night. You may want to consider buying timers for both your inside and outside lights. If you set them just right, no one will even know you’re gone.
Install A Video Doorbell
This may be one of my favorite tips and it’s definitely on my own wish list. A video doorbell will send instant notifications on your smartphone whenever somebody is at the door. You’ll be able to talk back and forth and some even allow you to unlock the door.
This feature is especially helpful if you have someone coming over to walk the dog or feed the cats. If a package is being delivered, you can ask a neighbor to pick it up. Plus, if there’s a suspicious person at your door, you’ll know right away. You can take a photo of that person, and if need be, report to the police right away.
Remove Hidden Keys
If you keep a hidden key outside, be sure you put it away while you’re on vacation. You’re not the only one that hides a key outside for emergencies and thieves know it. Since you won’t be needing it anyway, just stash it inside the junk drawer until you return home.
Have The Lawn Mowed Or Driveways Shoveled
Make sure your house appears lived in while you’re gone. An overgrown lawn is a sure sign that nobody is around. If you don’t have a lawn service, hire the neighbor’s kid to take care of it. If you live where there’s winter weather, hire him (or her) to shovel your driveway instead.
Avoid Posting On Social Media
This one may just be the most difficult tip for some, including myself, but you should resist posting on social media. When you post that sunset picture from the beach, what you’re really doing is announcing to the world that your house is sitting empty.
Hire A House Sitter
If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, a house sitter may be the best option. Of course, you’ll want to be sure it’s someone you trust but if you pick the right person, you’ll have little to worry about. A house sitter can take care of just about everything on this list from checking the mail to mowing the lawn.
What do you do to prepare for a vacation? Do you have any tips that should be added to our list?