Summertime and vacation plans go hand in hand, but don’t let the excitement of your family’s vacation plans overshadow the need to secure your home and belongings from individuals who may want to take advantage of an unoccupied residence. Here are a few tips to protect your home while on vacation, from the home service experts at Handyman Connection.
- Consider hiring a house sitter. Do you have a trusted friend or relative that you can count on to stay in your home and pick up the newspaper and mail, water plants and feed the pets? If so, this is the best way to insure your home stays protected. Criminals are less likely to attempt to enter a home if they see it is occupied and activity is occurring inside and outside the home. There are companies that provide these services, but they can be pricey.
- Hold delivery on your mail and newspaper. An overflowing mailbox and old newspapers collecting on a front porch or in the driveway is sure sign that a home is unoccupied and a prime target for burglary. Holding your USPS delivery (from 3 to up to 30 days) is simple, just click here to begin the process. If you have a local newspaper subscription, they will usually have an online or telephone process available to temporarily stop your delivery schedule. Also, if you have a meal subscription service, such as Blue Apron or HelloFresh, remember to skip or hold those deliveries as well.
- Ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your property. Chances are, you already have great neighbors who already do this. But mention to a trusted neighbor that you will be out of town and ask them to keep an eye out for suspicious activity or to collect any materials that solicitors leave on doorknobs or mailboxes. Remember to return the favor when they are out of town!
- Make your home appear “lived-in”. Use timers both inside and out to control lights so that your home appears to have activity in it. Motion-sensor lights for the outside of your home are also a good idea.
- Keep up with your landscaping, even while away. Hire a neighbor or service to mow the lawn and trim bushes while you are away. An overgrown, unkempt lawn is a sure sign that no one is home.
- Lock every door and window, including your automatic garage door. This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people leave a door or window unlocked for kids who may have trouble keeping up with a house key. Also, don’t forget to lock your automatic garage door.
- Don’t broadcast that you will be away. We know it’s hard, but try not to post or “check-in” on social networking while you are away. (For Example: “So excited to begin my 30-day hike in Yosemite National Park!”) Instead, share your photos and stories after you return home.
- Pull the plug on some appliances. Disconnecting the power to some of your electronics, like your desktop computer, coffee pot and television can save you money while you’re gone and eliminate the worry that you’ve accidentally left them on by mistake. Turning off your automatic garage door is also an effective way to keep thieves from opening it with a universal remote.
- Don’t leave a portable GPS in your car if you will use long-term parking at the airport. It can alert car thieves that you’re not home and give them a convenient map straight to your house.
Taking these measures before you leave can help ensure that your home will be safe and sound while you enjoy your summertime getaway. If you need any assistance with installing motion-sensor lighting, security equipment or new entry-door locks, your friends at Handyman Connection are just a call away!