10 Ways to Make Your Home Safer While on Vacation
Finally, that long awaited vacation is almost here. Before you step on the plane or cruise ship, or travel in the car to your destination point, here are 10 ways to make your home safer while you're away from Howstuffworks.com:
- Hire a house or pet sitter: Someone staying in your home is a good way to keep it safe because it'll look like you never left. In addition, you will have someone who can take care of your pet, and water your flowers.
- Hold your mail: Don't advertise that you're not home with a stuffed mailbox and risk someone getting access to personal bank or credit card information. You can put your mail on hold for up to 30 days free, courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.
- Stop newspaper delivery: There's nothing like a pile of newspapers on your front porch to indicate that you're away, piquing criminals' attention. Contact your service to hold the papers until you return.
- Enlist neighbors' help: Ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your home for things like doorknob fliers, packages, and yellow page books that can indicate an absent homeowner. Plus, they can keep in contact with you to assure you that everything is safe while you're gone.
- Make it look like you never left: To create the illusion that the home is still occupied, invest in timers that turn interior lights on for a few hours each night. Ask a neighbor to take your garbage and recycling cans in and out to make it look like someone is home and doing the chores.
- Keep the landscape trimmed: High grass that's approaching jungle-length is a dead giveaway that the homeowners are away. Hire a lawn-mowing service or ask a neighbor to help so it appears it's trimmed and maintained.
- Triple check: There's always the possibility of missing an unlocked window or a cracked back door. Before you leave, triple check all the areas in your home that could act as an entrance and make sure they're sealed and locked tight.
- Don't put it online: While it may be tempting to post exciting statuses and blogs about your upcoming vacation, criminals troll social media and see these as invitations to enter your home. Keep your itineraries offline and burglars out of your house.
- Unplug electronics and appliances: Instead of worrying about whether you turned off the stove or the iron, simply unplug them! You'll save yourself a great deal of worrying along with unnecessary charges on your energy bill.
- Install added security features: Make sure your home alarm is up to date so that if a criminal does try to enter your home, the alarm goes off and the police are notified.