Summer is just around the corner and if you’re like most people, you’re looking forward to spending some quality time with your family on vacation.
Whether you’re packing up the kids and heading to that quaint cottage you rent every year on Cape Cod, heading north to the lakes region of New Hampshire or Maine, or jetting off to some exotic locale, don’t forget to take some precautions to protect your home while you’re away.
Here are some tips to help keep your home safe while you and your loved ones are enjoying some well-deserved time away.
- Set your smart home security system – With smart home security and automation, you can control and monitor your lights, locks and thermostat from the convenience of your smartphone. Setting the lights to turn on at night will give the appearance that someone is home to ward off potential thieves. Your security system should include video surveillance with remote video access so you can log in and check on your home from any computer, smartphone, or other mobile device with Internet access.
- Be sure that the locks on all the doors and windows are working properly – then be sure to use those locks. Don’t make it easy for a bad guy to enter your home.
- If possible, leave a car in your driveway – That will give the impression that someone is at home. If not, ask a neighbor with more than one car to park a car in your driveway. However, have someone move the car from time to time.
- Disconnect your garage door opener – A number of manufacturers use the same frequency for each garage door opener they make. That means someone else could potentially open the door to your garage with a remote door opener.
- Ask a trusted neighbor or two to watch over your property – Be sure they have your cell phone number so they can reach you if there’s an emergency. You should also let them know that if they see anything suspicious they should call the police.
- Have someone pick up your mail, newspapers and any other packages on a daily basis – Nothing says, “Hey, there’s no one home here. C’mon in and help yourself to our valuables,” more than a bunch of letters sticking out of your mailbox or a pile of yellowing newspapers on your front walk.
- Have a neighbor put your trash barrels out on the normal trash day – The neighbor should also put them away after the trash has been picked up.
- Arrange for a local landscaper to maintain your yard. Grass that hasn’t been cut or overgrown bushes are sure signs that you’re not home.
- Don’t broadcast your vacation plans on social media – The fact is, nothing you post online is private. Criminals troll social media sites looking for such information. It’s also not a good idea to announce that you’re going to be away on your voice mail.
- Call your home security system provider – Don’t leave home without telling the people at the security company that you’re going on vacation. Let them know how long you’re going to be away from your property. Additionally, let your provider know if anyone will be going into your home while you’re gone. This information will help the company’s operators respond to any signals from your alarm system while you’re away. Your security company can also monitor your fire alarm system and dispatch the fire department if it receives a trouble signal.
If you follow these tips, you and your family can enjoy a worry-free vacation knowing your home will be safe while you’re away.