‘Tis the season for airports, bus terminals, and road trips! Holiday travel time is upon us, with many people headed home to visit with friends and loved ones who live far away. Homes along residential streets stand empty as their inhabitants make their pilgrimages to their holiday plans.
Empty houses can invite trouble, both from home intruders and from basic day-to-day minutiae going awry with no one there to set it right. Protect your home from invaders, unfortunate utility bills, and mechanical issues with these holiday travel tips!
Preparing the Inside of Your Home for Your Time Away
Getting ready to go on a trip requires more than asking a friend to water your plants and double-checking the doors to ensure you’ve locked them. Savvy travelers take extra steps to save themselves both money and frustration while they are away.
- Unplug all appliances except your refrigerator, freezers, and anything you have purposely placed on a timer. This both keeps the electric bill low and prevents electrical malfunctions.
- Consider turning off your main water valve if your vacation will last longer than a week. No one wants to return home to discover a broken washing machine hose or ruptured pipe.
- Install an automated thermostat, such as the SafeTouch Smart Thermostat. This can regulate your home’s temperature to prevent frozen pipes while still saving you money.
- Add timers to a few lights in your home. You can even purchase timers that turn your lights on and off at random intervals, so observant thieves can’t detect a timed pattern.
The Devil in the Details
An experienced home intruder understands the small, often overlooked cues that indicate an empty home. Addressing these details can help prevent a home invasion while you are away.
- Ask any newspaper companies to hold your subscription for your time away. Piled-up newspapers in the driveway indicate no one has been home to bring them inside.
- Consider renting a safe deposit box for valuables such as jewelry, firearms, cash, and important paperwork. These objects are easy for thieves to grab as they work through a home.
- Request a friendly neighbor park their car in your driveway at night. This gives the illusion of inhabitation to anyone watching for an easy target.
- Call the post office and request a mail hold. Should you have someone to swing by and water plants or care for pets, ask them to bring the mail inside. Thieves will check mailboxes to see if the post has piled up.
Securing Your Home for Holiday Travel
Locking the doors is a good, first step toward securing your home for your absence. Yet there is more you can do to ensure your house remains safe during your holiday trip.
- Secure all windows with appropriate window locks. For people with sliding glass doors, you can utilize a rod placed in the track to prevent a burglar from forcing the door open.
- Do not hide a key outside for emergencies. Instead, ask a trusted neighbor to hold the key in case of need. If you do not have such a neighbor, consider a lock box instead.
- Disable your garage door opener. Thieves can discover the code and use it to gain access to your home.
- Install a security system. An automated security system is a proven effective means of keeping your home safe, especially while you are away.
As you venture away on your holiday travel this year, maintain the security of your home with a security system from SafeTouch. Contact us today so we can use our expertise to bring you peace of mind this holiday season!