Having a carefree and relaxing holiday can be overshadowed with worry if you don’t have safe measures set up for your empty home. Whether you’re leaving for a week or a month, an empty house can be an invitation to trouble – whether it be burglars, bugs or worse. Luckily, according to this website, there are some measures you can take to protect your home while you’re away, and give you the peace of mind that you deserve.
Make it look like someone is home
While you are away, certain gadgets and measures can be used to make it look like someone is home. There are timers for lights and even for televisions and radios. You could also leave one car in the driveway and arrange to have someone mow your lawn weekly so the grass doesn’t get unruly. Also, don’t be afraid to leave a bit of a mess outside – for example, a toy or two on the front lawn will give the illusion of a home being lived in.
Hold your mail
Nothing says “empty house” more than a pile of mail on the front steps. Contact your postal service to get a hold on your mail, or get a neighbour to pick it up for you until you’re home.
Advertise Your Security
It’s always a good idea to have a visible sign that advertises your security measures. You could even go so far to install fake security cameras to deter the would-be thieves from even thinking of breaking into your home.
Despite having timers to control lights/electronics in your home, unplug any unnecessary electronics while you’re away. Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s also helpful to protect your home should there be a power surge or an electrical fire. Less plugged in = less chance of an electrical fire.
Turn off your water
We’ve all heard terrible stories of people who have come home to their house underwater – a pipe had burst when they were away, and it sprayed water into their home for weeks, or until a neighbour noticed and alerted them. Prevent this from happening by turning off your main water source before you leave. If you can’t find the primary water source or aren’t sure how to do so, you can get a water alert alarm that will signal if water is touching your floor. Many alarm companies (if you have monitored service) will also alert you if it detects water as well.
This would seem obvious, but you can always take it an extra step. Place pieces of plywood in any sliding doors or windows that prevent it from being slid open at all. If you have a garage, be sure to lock that up as well; in fact, you can even unplug the power source for the garage door too.
Tell someone you trust that you’re away
One of the best ways you can try to prevent issues in your home while you’re away is to entrust someone to watch over your home. Whether it is a trustworthy neighbour, a good friend or a family member, you can give them a key and get them to come in a few times to check the place out. They can collect your mail, mow your lawn, open the blinds and just give an overall sense that someone is home.
A few key things NOT to do while you’re away:
• Never advertise that you are on holidays; this means no “vacation alert” answering machine messages, and most certainly not on social media. Although it is tempting to advertise tot the Facebook world that you’re going to Hawaii, this could invite trouble
• Don’t hide a key outside. Put it away for the time being. You’d be surprised at how efficient burglars are at finding these hide-a-keys.
• Don’t make your home look dark and empty. If you take the above precautions before you go away, you should be good!