Summer is a prime time for traveling. And while you’re packing and preparing, we suggest taking some time to make sure your home is protected while you’re away. Even if you don’t have an at-home security system, there are several steps you can take to boost your home’s protection–and help maintain your peace of mind while you enjoy your trip.
First? Enlist the help of a trusted friend or neighbor. Even if you don’t hire a full-time housesitter, have someone periodically drive by to check the condition of your home. Along this same line of thinking, you might want to notify your area’s neighborhood watch association (if applicable) that you’ll be gone.
In the age of social media and constant communication, it may be tempting to broadcast your whereabouts to your online connections. Yet security professionals recommend that you don’t post your travel plans on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Facebook offers a slew of security settings that may help keep your posts more private, yet Twitter can easily be accessed by anyone on the Internet. Practice caution and use discretion when posting.
Some homeowners opt to change their behaviors while they travel — closing all of the curtains, for example, or leaving a lot of lights on. These can actually tip someone off that something’s different, and if the curtains or blinds are closed, it makes it difficult for that trusted friend or family member to see if anything’s going on inside.
Instead, keep your curtains or blinds as you normally would (even if that’s open.) As far as your lights, install a few primary light sources on a timer. That way, you can illuminate your home during the evening, but you don’t have to keep them on all night. This will keep your electricity bill from skyrocketing (especially helpful if you’re going on a long trip) and may also prevent a fire hazard.
If you have any additional tips for keeping your home safe while you’re out of town, we’d love to hear them!