Whether it's your annual Christmas season travel plans or that Summer time get-away, millions of Canadians travel all over the Country and the Globe to enjoy their hard earned vacations. But what about your house? How do you make sure your home is the same as when you left it when you return? Here are ten ways that will help to keep your home safe while on vacation and give you peace of mind so that you can spend those precious hours relaxed and worry free:
1. Consider a House or Pet-sitter: The best way to make sure your home is safe while you're away is to have someone you trust living in it. Who knows? You may even get lucky enough to have a clean and conscientious relative who will do some of your household chores while you're gone.
2. Hold your mail: When you're leaving for more than a few days, call your post office to stop mail delivery until you get back. They will hold mail up to 30 days and in many cases you can make the request on-line.
3. Stop Newspaper delivery: Having a daily newspaper delivered to your home isn't nearly as prevalent as it used to be, however, there are still plenty of homeowners who enjoy their morning crossword puzzles. Make sure to stop newspaper delivery for the duration of you trip.
4. Ask Neighbors to keep watch: Even if you stop mail and newspaper delivery there are still flyers and advertisements that can be left on your front door. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home and remove these tell-tale signs of a vacant property.
5. Put your lights on a timer: An occupied home looks lived in. Lights go on and off, and cars come and go but when you're on vacation all of that activity stops. Create the illusion that you're still home by investing in timers that turn interior and exterior lighting on and off. There are even gadgets and smartphone apps now that let you control your entire home's illumination from the palm of your hand.
6. Trim your landscaping: If you're a homeowner who takes pride in keeping the lawn mowed and bushes trimmed it's easy to come to the conclusion that you're not around if the landscaping is overrun. Hire someone to take care of the normal landscaping routine while you're gone.
7. Lock up: This seems obvious but it's an easy one to forget. Don't just check your front and back doors. Check and lock windows and sky-lights. Verify side entrances into garages are secure. If you don't already have one, place a pad-lock on your backyard gate.
8. Don't Advertise your Vacation: Show caution when talking about your trip. Your blog or your social media isn't the best place to announce where you're going and exactly how long you'll be gone. The less information you share with others the less likely it is to reach the wrong eyes and ears. Try to wait until you're home to start posting all those vacation photos you're just dying to share with everyone.
9. Pull the plug on electronics: Disconnecting the power to some of your electronics, like your coffee pot, and television, can save you money and eliminate worry that you've accidentally left them on by mistake. Un-plug your automatic garage door opener so would-be thieves can't open it with a universal remote.
10. Install added Security: Installing a home security system, motion sensor exterior lighting, or interior security cameras that you can operate using your smart phone are all added ways to give you security not only while you're on vacation but can be used to keep you safer when you're home as well.