Traveling can be loads of fun, but like anything else, it comes with its own set of risks. One such risk is the increased chance of criminals taking advantage of your absence by breaking into your home while you’re away. To help keep your mind at ease while traveling, be sure to implement these seven home safety tips before you leave.
Ask a neighbor to occasionally stop by your house.
Nothing advertises your absence quite like an overflowing mailbox or a pile of newspapers on the front porch. Before leaving on your trip, ask a neighbor to stop by every day or two to collect your mail to keep your place from appearing vacant. If you’ll be asking two neighbors to keep an eye on your home, let each know who else to expect, so you don’t end up having one neighbor calling the police on the other by accident.
Don’t advertise the fact that you’ll be away.
It can be tempting to post on your social media accounts about your upcoming trip, but by doing so, you could also be telling strangers that your house will be vacant for an extended period of time. Criminals love a heads up for when homeowners will be out of town, so leave posting about your trip until after you’ve returned.
Leave curtains as you’d normally have them.
Though it may seem logical to close your curtains before leaving to keep any unwanted eyes from peering into your home while you’re away, this might not be the best idea. By leaving your curtains in a different state than you’d normally have them, you may be inadvertently alerting criminals to your prolonged absence. Keeping your curtains closed can also prevent your neighbors from noticing when something’s amiss.
Keep expensive items out of sight.
If you will be leaving your curtains open as you travel, be sure to move any expensive items out of sight. Expensive items can be very tempting if a criminal does decide to look through your windows, so you can help remove such temptations by moving things like jewelry and electronic devices to a more hidden area.
Buy some programmable timers.
Plugging a couple of lights, your stereo, and your television into programmable timers can help hide the fact that you’re away from home. Digital timers are great if you want to set a different schedule on different days, but if your area gets frequent power outages, you may need to stick with basic mechanical timers instead. Power outages can reset digital timers, rendering them useless until reprogrammed.
Ditch the spare key.
If you keep a spare key hidden somewhere near your door, remove it before leaving on your travels. That way, if on the off chance a criminal does notice you’re away, you won’t be giving them easy access to your home. Flower pots, mailboxes, and doormats are no match for a criminal who’s looking for your space key.
Bring in your automatic garage door opener.
If you’ll be leaving your car in the driveway while you travel, be sure to bring in your automatic garage door opener. This way, if your car is broken into, criminals won’t also have access to the contents of your garage. This is doubly important if your garage has a direct entrance to your home.
No one who travels wants to come home to a burglarized house. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to reduce your home’s chances of becoming a target. By implementing these seven tips before you leave, you will be helping to keep your home safe while you’re away.