If you are going away on vacation or plan on being gone for an extended period of time, you obviously want to make sure that your house is protected against any burglaries or any other type of mischief that may happen while you and your family are gone.
It goes without saying that the first thing you probably want to do is tell a trusted friend or neighbor that you are going on a trip and maybe also tell them how long you plan on being gone. However, there is more to the idea of simply informing a trusted person that you are going on vacation and that you need his or her help. With that, here are some practical guidelines in order to maintain your home’s safety where you are away.
Give Your Most Trusted Friend/Neighbor a Key
You can ask your friend to check out the place once a day and see if anything is out of the ordinary. It is important to make sure the person has a key if they need to get inside of the house. Also give them your contact information, in case of an emergency so they can get a hold of you if needed.
Tip Off the Police
You can also notify the police department if you are going to be gone for longer than a week or two. You can even ask the department to do an extra patrol in the area. If you are going to do that, then let dispatch know, or the police department knows you know what vehicle should be there and/or what vehicle should not be there.
Notify the Security or Alarm Company
If you have employed a security company or an alarm company, make sure that they know that you are going to be gone. You then have to check if your local county dispatch has your information. If you, on the other hand, are giving a trusted neighbor the code to get in your house and he or she accidentally sets your alarm off, make sure they have the security code. This is so when that call is made, they can say the proper code is entered. Remember that in the event of an alarm, a police officer will probably still be dispatched to your house.
Contact the Post Office
Another good thing to do is contact the post office. Either have your mail held, or make sure that your neighbor is aware and is getting your mail. You do not want mail loading up in your mailbox. This also involves asking them to pick up your newspapers. As newspapers start piling up on the driveway or on your doorstep, it signifies that you are away, which then attracts the eyes of would-be burglars.
Hire Someone to do Outdoor Chores
This is another one of those things that kind of tells the bad guys that you are not home. Especially in the winter months, ensure that your driveways are well taken care of by someone. Same with your sidewalk. The same concept applies if you are on a summer vacation, you want to make sure someone is cutting your grass and/or tending to your garden.
Leave the Light/s On
Now let us talk about your home’s lightning really quick. Sometimes people will leave one light on the entire time. While this is good, we would still certainly recommend having a motion light or a timer. There are a lot of phone apps now that you can get, in which a simple click of a button on your phone switches on the light wherever you are in the world. Just be sure you are doing it at different intervals.
Refrain from Posting on Social Media
In this day and age, social media is a great thing, but sometimes, it is the other way around. For instance, if you are going to go on a cruise and you are going to be gone for an extended period of time, maybe you can wait until you get back to post vacation photos. On the one hand, it shows your friends what is going on, but on the other, it also informs the dark corners of the internet that your house is ripe for the picking. So, make sure that if you do talk about your vacation, do not give specific times and dates when you are going to be gone.
Be Mindful of Your Appliances
Finally, if you are going on a long, well-deserved vacation, be sure to pull the plug of your home appliances. This includes—but are not limited to—unplugging your televisions and computers, toaster and microwave ovens, basically any of your high dollar electronics appliances. This is just to protect them from power surges. A lot of people have power surge protectors in their home, but if something were to go wrong, and you are not there to fix that issue, you will leave your home in great jeopardy.
By doing these simple steps, your mind will be more at ease and you will enjoy your vacation a little bit more. Trust us when we say that knowing you have taken care of the things that you can do to enjoy your vacation will make all the difference in the world.
Desiree Macy is the Editorial Director of SIA Online Magazine which is frequented by security executives, corporate security officers, and private protection professionals each month. Desiree’s interests revolves around cyber-security, and business continuity.