A lot of work goes into planning a holiday. When the time to leave finally arrives, you want to be able to enjoy your time away without any worries. One of the most troubling problems travelers face is worrying about their home while they’re away. Although home security and safety measures may not be on your packing list, they should be near the top of your holiday preparations list. Next time you’re going away for a family vacation or business trip, use these tips to make sure your home is as secure as possible until you return.
Security and Safety Checklist for the Home
- Check Window and Door Security. Older homes and apartments especially can have doors and windows that are easy to break into even when locked. It’s worth it to take time to check possible entryways that burglars might use. When in doubt, replace outdated or non-working locks with newer ones that you don’t have to jiggle or jimmy to get to them to work.
- Smoke Detector Function. Before leaving for vacation, always check to ensure that your smoke detectors are functioning. If it’s been a while since fresh batteries were installed, replace them before you leave. Include your carbon monoxide detector in your check. Most detectors have a test button you can use.
- A Home that Looks Lived In. A dark, empty apartment or home is tempting to prowlers, especially when your home normally looks lived in. Avoid that obvious “we’re away on holiday” look by using timers to turn a few lights on at night, as well as the television or radio.
- Mail and Newspapers. A stack of old newspapers piling up on your front porch and mail falling out of the postbox are both telltale signs that you’ve gone away. If you have a neighbor or friend who can collect these things for you, have them do so. Otherwise, it’s worth it to have your mail and newspaper deliveries stopped until you return.
- Extended Time Away. There are times when holidays or even business travel take you away for longer than normal. In addition to doing all the tasks listed here, it’s smart to let your local police department know that you’ll be gone. Many police departments are willing to have a patrol car drive past your home a few times each week to ensure that everything looks okay. The occasional presence of a patrol car can be a deterrent to would-be burglars.
- Home Security Systems. Even with the inclusion of these steps, it’s still wise to have a home security system. The systems of today are as smart as can be and even allow you to arm or disarm them from remote locations. Having a home security system provides you with the security of knowing that if something occurs, the security company will be notified and the authorities will be, too.
Get in the Home Safety Habit
Even if you live in a quiet and safe area, exercising home safety on a daily basis can increase the security of your home while you’re away. If the practice of securing your home each day is part of your routine, you’ll be more likely to give it sufficient thought prior to a vacation. But, when you’re in a rush and forget, having a home security system that can be armed remotely can save you a great deal of stress and allow you to enjoy your time away.
Mary Ylisela is a veteran author who writes about travel, home and garden, and businesses related to both, such as www.communicateuk.co.uk, a home security company.