It’s the dog days of Winter. If you’re like most of Haligonians, you’re dreaming about a vacation. Maybe you’ve booked a trip to a sun destination or a March Break family getaway. While preparing for your much-needed vacation, did you remember to take some necessary precautions to keep your home safe while you’re away? Here are eight helpful tips to ensure that your precious home stays safe and sound.
- Enlist the Help of a Neighbor. If you don’t have a “house-sitter” be sure to tell a trusted neighbor that you’ll be gone and ask them to keep an eye on your house. Provide them a spare key and your vacation contact details. Encourage them to call the police if they see anything suspicious on your property.
- Be Sure to Lock All the Doors. Locking the doors seems pretty obvious, but don’t forget to secure other openings, like pet doors or mail slots, to prevent burglars from reaching in with a tool and unlocking the door. Consider disconnecting your garage door opener and placing a padlock on the garage-door track instead.
- Make it Look Like Someone is Still Home. Leave on a few strategically located lights. Consider having a car parked in your driveway as opposed to being empty. Position window blinds and curtains like normal. Ask a neighbor or friend to collect your mail. And if you still get the newspaper delivered arrange for a vacation stop.
- Be Careful When Sharing on Social Media. While posting on social media may make your friends jealous, you’re also revealing to potential thieves that you’re far away from home. Consider, waiting to share details of your trip until you return, or switch your sharing to private or “Friends Only.”
- Tune Up Your Home Security System. An alarm system installed in your home can bring you more than peace of mind; it could also help you qualify for a discount on home-owners insurance. Also, let your home security company know you’re on vacation.
- Unplug Some Appliances. To avoid power surges, make sure to unplug all unnecessary non-timed appliances: like TVs, coffee makers, lamps, etc… Also, make sure your smoke alarms are in working order, and show your neighbor or house sitter where to find a fire extinguisher.
- Remove Your Spare Key. We’re sure you thought of a really clever place to hide your spare key, but chances are, a seasoned criminal will search long and hard to find it. To avoid having a thief gain easy access to your home, simply remove the key before you leave and drop it off with a neighbor for safekeeping.
- Double Check Your Home Insurance. Insurance companies have different guidelines that may limit coverage if the requirements aren’t met. So it’s important to know what the obligations are under the policy before you leave.
Making sure you are well prepared for your vacation gives you much-needed peace-of-mind. Now comes the fun part, enjoy your vacation, you deserve it!