Departing the city shouldn’t lead to parting ways with your prized possessions. Here’s our guide to keeping your home safe so you can be on vacation with good faith – thanks to Oprah and Independent Traveler.
Leave your lights on timers. Timed lighting in main living areas simulates occupancy. Consider connecting your home to Nest or Lutron so lights, television and music can be switched on by tapping your smartphone to outsmart the curious.
Leave the city, not a trail
Don’t broadcast your absence. A burglar can easily be tipped off to your absence by social media posts, detailed out-of-office email messages and an unanswered phone. Turn off your home phone ringer and keep your everyday answering message in play – not one that says you’re on vacation.
Leave blinds and curtains in their usual positions wherever possible, taking care not to expose valuables that’ll attract prying eyes. Noticeable changes could hint that you’re not around anymore – especially if your curtains are uncharacteristically left closed for two weeks. Move expensive items, like jewellery or computers, out of plain sight if they’re visible from the window.
I-D your valuables
It’s not just your jewellery and tech gadgets you need to keep safe – it’s your paperwork too. Potential burglars already know your address so a few other important documents could complete the puzzle for them to steal your identity too. Shred any bills and receipts you no longer need. Unplug your computer and make sure it’s disconnected from the Internet.
Lock. Lock. Who’s there?
Ensure that all windows and doors are securely locked before you leave for vacation. This may sound elementary, but all it takes is one of them ajar to welcome an intruder and threaten home security.
Ask a friend to drive by your home every other day to check in. With a copy of your keys, they can bring your mail in (unless you’ve requested for mail to be stopped), feed your pet/s, water your plants and more. You may also need to give them your car keys to move your car for street cleaning and alternate side parking. They should also have your contact information and a copy of your itinerary in case of emergencies. If you have more than one watcher – keep them in contact so that one doesn’t accidentally startle the other.
Plan maintenance. Have your outdoor services covered. Mowing and manual watering will prevent overgrowth and faded plantings that could give away your absence.