Christmas is just around the corner, and this means a high travel season for everyone. But what do you do with your home when you’re not around? Follow our tips to make sure your home is secure and as safe as can be.
Stop mail & newspapers
A telltale sign of when someone isn’t home is a giant stack of newspapers and mail outside their house. Think ahead and stop this from happening to you by putting your mail and newspaper on a hold. You can stop your USPS mail here and the Omaha World-Herald here. Also, be cautious of what packages you order online. Make sure they won’t be delivered during your time away!
Tell a neighbor
Most people will encourage you to not tell a soul when you’re going on vacation so your home is not a sitting target. However, we think it is wise to tell a trusted neighbor you’re going out of town. This way they can keep an eye on your home and be aware of any suspicious activity that might otherwise be overlooked.
Set your home security system
If you have a security system, it’s best to turn it on when you’re gone if you won’t be having people coming in and out of your home like pet sitters or someone who is watering plants. By setting your system and having a well-placed sticker or sign with the name of the company on it, you’re protecting your home from intruders. Be sure to have a local contact available in town in case of an emergency as well.
When people can see into your home, they’ll quickly pick up that no one is around. By closing your blinds, even half-way, this will deter possible intruders. This will help especially at night, when most people close their blinds or curtains anyway.
Put lights on a timer
Putting your lights on a timer is a simple task that could pay off in the long run. You can put your outdoor lights or interior lights on a timer to give the illusion that someone is home. We recommend putting both on a timer and having them shut off around your normal time. Keeping your exterior lights on all the time for a week or so will start to tip off people that you’re not home. This is especially helpful during the winter months when it gets dark so much earlier.
It seems like an obvious thing to do, but going through your home before a big trip and making sure everything is locked is vital. There may be a side window or door that you don’t think about often that is unlocked. If a person has enough time, they could try windows, doors and other entry points to get into your home. Lots of people are guilty of closing windows, but not locking them, so take an extra minute to lock up your home.
Hire a maintenance company
Skipping town for the Christmas season? Be sure to hire someone to take care of any snow removal that might be anticipated. In Nebraska you never know what the weather will bring, so hire a company to be on call in case there is a snow storm. Plus, you’ll come home to a clean driveway!
Alert your alarm company
By calling your alarm company and letting them know your travel dates, they can know to act swiftly if the alarm goes off. They may need to know how to contact you on vacation, if phones are available. Of course, this is only necessary if you follow tip number three and actually set your alarm! Be sure to notify the company of who your emergency contact is as well.
A good safety tip to remember is to unplug unnecessary appliances before you leave. It’s unlikely, but unplugging things from the wall just reduces the risk of an electrical fire. Plus, it will save you money on your next electric bill!
Hire a house sitter
If you still feel uncomfortable leaving your home for the duration of your trip, hire a reliable house sitter that you trust. This way there will be a person in the house watching over the home and taking care of everything so you can go relax!
Posted In: Around The Home