Finally, the weather has warmed up, the kids are out of school, and hopefully, you’re planning a get-away. Whether you’re planning a vacation “down the shore,” or to some exotic location far away, be on the safe side and take time to ensure your home is secure before you leave. Try some of these home security tips to give you peace of mind while you’re away. And have a great vacation!
* If you leave your car at the airport, change the setting of your home address to something else, like a restaurant. That way, if your car gets broken into, the bandits can’t find your empty house. If you have a portable GPS unit, remove it from your car.
* Replace any broken screens, latches, and windows before you leave.
* Put your lights on timers.
* Don’t announce you’re away on social media. Post your pictures online after you get home.
* Give your family and friends your itinerary.
* Install a programmable thermostat and adjust the temperature and a/c.
* Consider installing a digital doorbell to see activity at your house. (e.g., https://nest.com/)
* Install motion detection lights outside and use timers on inside lights.
* Secure gates, sheds and windows.
* Trim shrubbery.
* Turn off the main water service and your hot water heater.
* Don’t hide house keys outside.
* Ask a neighbor you’re friendly with to keep an eye on things. Give them a key if you have a close/trusting relationship with them. Maybe they’ll take in your newspaper and mail, or put out your trash cans on trash day or park in your driveway (you can return the favor). If a neighbor isn’t available, at the least, contact the post office and your newspaper to have delivery stopped while you’re away.
* Speaking of deliveries, stop other deliveries, such as from Amazon.
* Turn off or unplug all of your countertop appliances, such as your microwave.
* Leave automatic sprinklers on
* Leave draperies open slightly on upper floors.
* Remove garage door openers and house keys from cars.
* Hire a house-sitter.
* Put valuables in safe-deposit box.
* Inform your local police that you’ll be away.
One last thought, something I’ve forgotten to do: toss out all perishable food items that will go bad while you’re away, including fruits and veggies. The smell may send you right back on vacation!