12 Useful Tips for Keeping Your Home Protected While You Travel
Whether you plan to go on a short trip or travel for an extended period of time, you should take certain precautions to keep your home safe while you’re away. Protecting your premises the right way will likely save you from coming home to any unwanted surprises. Following these tips can keep your home safeguarded while you travel.
- Unplug Electrical Appliances
TVs, radios, computers and other electronic devices in your home should be unplugged so that they don’t waste power. Smarter Travel also notes that unplugging your appliances can protect them from power surges. These spikes in the electrical currents can damage your appliances and electrical system. Unplugging everything also decreases electrical fire risks.
- Stop Mail and Package Deliveries
You should stop your mail and package deliveries during your time away. According to HuffPost, deliveries that pile up on your doorstep or in your mailbox will be a telltale sign that no one is home, which might tempt burglars and other intruders to try to enter your home. If you still get a newspaper delivered on your doorstep, you should stop that service as well until you return.
- Avoid Bragging on Social Media
Posting plans about your upcoming trip on social media sites can tip off burglars who may try to break into your home while you’re away. Even if you think that no one can locate your home address through social media, the craftiest crooks can find ways to obtain this information. If you do post anything about your upcoming trip, don’t specify your departure and return dates.
- Get a Security System
Security systems can automatically alert authorities if someone tries to break into your home. These systems can also emit loud sounds to scare off intruders. Some of the best products on the market feature motion detectors that will give your home even better protection. Security systems can be programmed to activate if trespassers try to enter through doors or windows.
- Remove Your Vehicle’s GPS
Whether you’re planning to take your vehicle on a road trip or leave it parked at the airport, you should remove your GPS from the vehicle so that thieves won’t be able to find out where you live. Clever car thieves can steal your vehicle and use your GPS to lead them to your home. They will likely feel confident enough to break into your home if they believe that nobody is there. If your GPS is built into your vehicle and can’t be removed, The Art of Manliness suggests setting your unit’s “home” location to some other place that differs from your home address.
- Hire a House Sitter
A house sitter can look after your property until you return. You can hire a trusted person to remain at your home the entire time you’re away or stop by periodically to check on things. You can also ask this person to water your plants and feed any pets that you may have. In case it gets cold inside your home and your house sitter wants to start a fire in your fireplace, you should have some ventless gas log sets that can be used.
- Set Timers for Lights
A house that sits dark for a prolonged period of time is a telltale sign that no one is home. Using timers to automatically turn on your lights at certain times is a great way to protect your home. It’s best to program your lights so that they won’t come on at the same times each day and night and tip off burglars who might be watching your home.
- Don’t Leave Spare Keys
You might think that leaving a spare key hidden somewhere on your property is a good idea in case you get locked out, but persistent thieves will likely search all areas to locate any hidden keys. Even if you try to hide the key in a place that isn’t so obvious, it might still be found. Ordinary Traveler suggests that instead of hiding a key, you should leave a spare with a trusted friend or family member.
- Hide Your Valuables
If thieves do break into your home, you can make their efforts less rewarding by stashing your valuables in hidden places. Getting a safe to hold your jewelry, spare cash and other valuables can keep them from falling into the wrong hands. You can also store some of your valuable in an offsite safe deposit box until you return.
- Replace Old Entry Doors
Old entry doors are sometimes easy to kick in and won’t give your home adequate protection. Installing new hardwood or metal doors can provide you with greater security. According to wikiHow, these new doors should be more than one inch thick and come with state-of-the-art locks that can’t be easily picked.
- Keep Your Yard Maintained
Another great way to fool burglars is to hire someone or ask a friend to mow your lawn every few days. This will give the impression that someone is home. If heavy snowfall is expected while you’re away, you should have your driveway and walkways on your property shoveled.
- Inspect Your Home for Fire Dangers Before You Leave
Burglary isn’t the only thing that you should worry about while you’re on vacation. A fire may also occur and leave your home in shambles. The cords to any electric items that you plan to leave plugged in should be in good condition and free of damage. Your heater also shouldn’t be programmed to come on automatically while you’re away.
You’ll have a better chance of returning to a home that’s fully intact if you take the recommended steps to safeguard your premises during your trip. Finding ways to keep your home protected should be a top priority if you plan to travel.