Home Safety When Home for the Holidays
It’s that time of year again, the interstates, airports, and train stations are packed with people travelling to be with friends and family. Many people say, “I’m heading home” but what about the place where they live most of the time, their home? There are steps that can be taken to ensure that this home remains intact and protected even while the homeowner is away. Some of these preventative measures require a little bit of planning but others can be done as you and your suitcases are heading out the door.
There are a few safety precautions that can be handled a week or two before you head out on your travels:
Keep your mailbox from filling up
Ask a trusted neighbor, friend, or house sitter to collect your mail so your mailbox doesn’t fill up while you are gone. This can be a sign to burglars that no one is home. Another option is to have your mail delivery put on hold; to get more information on mail holds, contact your post office.
Lock up your valuables
Using a safe or safety deposit box, lock up valuable items, including your personal information. This way if you do experience a break-in, these items are secure.
Set your security system
Inform your alarm company that you will be out of town and don’t forget to set your system when you leave!
Adjust the thermostat
Since you won’t be in the house, there is no reason to keep your house warm and toasty. So, save some energy and money by adjusting the thermostat. You don’t want to turn it off completely because that could cause other issues, like frozen pipes—in fact, keep the temperature above 55 degrees to avoid this.
Arrange for someone to keep an eye on your house
If you can, find a trusted friend to stay at your home. Otherwise, ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for suspicious activity or ask a friend to drive by and check the doors/windows from time to time.
If you aren’t already using surge protectors, unplug the computer, tv, stereo and other electronics to avoid damage from power surges.
Check exterior lights
Burglars prefer to work under the cover of darkness so make sure your exterior lights are in working order and any burnt out bulbs are replaced.
This may seem silly to say but there are some things that you will want to remember to do:
- Collect any spare keys you have hidden.
- Lock your windows, doors, and garage door.
- Leave an exterior light on, if not using motion detector lights. You could also leave an interior light on to make it look like someone is home.
- Park a car in the driveway, this might deter a burglar from considering your home because it looks like someone is there.