Travelling is not only a past time for me; it’s a way of life. I’ve seen many places and met a lot of friends along the way, but I have to admit: there’s no place like home, and when I do come home, I want everything exactly how I left it. If you’re travelling this winter season, consider some of the following tips to make sure your home is secure while you’re away.
Consider hiring a house-sitter. The best way to burglar-proof your home, is to have someone live in it while you’re away. They can water the plants, pick up your mail, and if you have pets, a house-sitter can walk your dog and feed your cat. The important thing is finding someone that you can trust. Ask around for referrals and if you hire a stranger, make sure you ask for references.
Stop newspaper deliveries to your home. A pile of newspapers on your front doorstep is an invitation that place is ripe for the picking. Call up your newspaper subscription and have them hold your service until you get back. Some neighbourhoods have charities that would be more than happy to take your newspapers while you’re away.
Ask a trusted someone to keep an eye on your home making sure all is in order and nothing looks suspicious. . A close neighbour or friend can keep an eye out on your property. You can ask them to pick up any fliers or garbage that may land on your doorstep or lawn.
Invest in timers for your lights and other electronics. Set the lights to go on in a room at dusk or have the TV on for an hour each night. This gives the illusion of someone being home.
If you’re gone for an extended period of time, it may be a good idea to hire a gardener to make sure your lawn is mowed and your garden looks tidy. Also, get in the habit of parking your car in the garage and keep the door closed all year round. This will reduce the chance of someone tracking your routines and figuring out when you’re not normally home.
Make sure you unplug electronics that you don’t need. Yes, you have a few lights and TV on timers, but what about your coffee pot? Does it need to be plugged in? Unplugging all your electronics will ensure that you never have that nagging feeling that you forgot to turn off an appliance.
In our era of social media, it seems everyone knows what you’re doing. Taking a vacation is an exciting time, but show some caution about what you talk about. If you tell your friends on Facebook that you’re leaving in an hour, you’ve may have inadvertently told everyone in the world that you’re not going to be home.
Lastly, make sure you lock up and know where all the keys to your home are. Some of us keep emergency keys under a planter or hidden above the door frame, but did you know that a lot of burglars get into homes using a key? Make sure you remove this opportunity before you head off for some much rested R&R.
Wishing you a safe and happy New Year!