How to Protect Your Home While Traveling This Holiday Season
How to Protect Your Home While Traveling
It’s that time of year again! Most people are either prepping their own homes for all the holiday visitors or heading out of town for an end-of-year escape. If it’s the latter, you might be worried about leaving your home unattended for a long period of time when people that are up to no good know that many homes are likely to be vacant during this time of year.
If you’re nervously leaving your home unattended for the holiday season, there are a handful of precautions you can take to be sure you return to your home exactly as you left it.
Appearing As If You’re Home
The best way to keep people away from your home when you’re away is for it to appear as if you never left. Some people choose to put their lights on either a motion sensor or a timer. A timer is a great way to have your lights turn on and off for shorter periods of time as opposed to running up your electric bill the entire time you’re away. These days, you can even sync your lights to a control on your iPhone or Android so you can change up the times of the evening that you keep your lights on or off. A smart criminal may notice a lamp that is clearly on a timer.
Another great way of appearing to be home when you aren’t is to offer up your driveway to a neighbor you know is staying in town. If they are sticking around for the holidays it’s likely they will need a place to park some extra cars of visiting friends and family. Suggest your driveway as a place to park and anyone looking for an empty home to rob will likely steer clear of your seemingly busy property.
Have Landscaping or Repairs Done
If you’ve been putting off some mulching or a roof repair, arrange to have the work done while you’re away! It’s likely that if someone watching your home sees people working on your property, they will assume you didn’t go away for the holidays and move on to an easier target. You may need to make special arrangements or be sure you are working with someone you trust, as there are other risks involved with having people working on your property while you are away.
Keep Quiet on Social Media
We know you’re excited about your upcoming trip, but if you don’t have private social media profiles you may want to be careful sharing your trip details with the world. Even if you want to show off your vacation, you can always wait until you return to post your album of photos from the family celebrations. If you do want to share your out-of-town locations just make your social media profiles private and only accept friend requests from people you know and trust. Don’t make it easy for strangers to find out you’re away!
Stop the Mail
If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, and especially if you have a standalone mailbox in your yard, stop the mail when you head out for your trip. A mailbox overflowing with letters and junk mail is a dead giveaway that no one has been home for awhile. If you don’t want to stop the mail, promise your neighbor a nice dinner or souvenir when you return from your trip away if they will stop by and pick up your mail every few days.
If you take the necessary precautions, you should have no problem keeping your empty home safe during the holidays. If you’re particularly worried even after following these suggestions, perhaps you can ask a neighbor if one of their family members would like to house sit for you. I’m sure they would be happy to have one less person sleeping on their couches, or would maybe even want to escape themselves. The holidays are a joyous time to be spent with your friends and family, not spent worrying about your home while trying to enjoy your vacation.