Sure, you can double lock everything, keep your lights on, and ask your neighbors to email you about any odd activity, but it’s wise to go a step further this summer. Whether it’s an act or burglary, or flooded floorboards, there is nothing more daunting than the thought of unforeseen and unexpected property damage. And while there is no way for homeowners to avoid such misfortune altogether, there are some ways to minimize the risk.
If you are planning to be away for a week or longer, give your house key to a trusted friend or neighbor to check on your home every day or two. Simply going inside and taking a quick walk around your home is enough. Just remember to give them a gift or souvenir!
If possible, make that small investment in lights with timers. Leaving a home unlit is a sign to burglars that it’s empty, and another indication is keeping lights on 24/7. An alternative - set a few lights on timers in the home and schedule the lights to a schedule that simulates your regular routine.
Request a trusted friend or neighbor to help bring in your mail and newspaper or opt to have the mail and paper temporarily stopped during your time away. A pile of newspapers on the doorstep is a tip-off that nobody’s home.
A fake rock where the extra house key is kept is not as discrete as one might think. Neither is under the welcome mat. Let a friend hold onto it, or put it in a safe place inside the home when you’re away on vacation.
The summer breeze through open windows is comforting, especially when the weather is hot. But opening windows and doors can leave your home vulnerable. If possible, only open windows that can’t be reached by a ladder.
Energy vampires are real, and this is a good tip every day of the year. Unplug all unnecessary appliances (except those on timers, of course) to save on energy costs but also to protect your home from an electrical fire or power surge. This goes for the big stuff, like TVs, but also for your toaster, coffee maker, and small appliances.
According to Time Magazine, it’s estimated that over 78 percent of burglars use social media to target their next location. Resist the urge to post the “I’m going on Vacation” social status. It’s fun to share with your friends and family but be cautious that your social media behavior could put your home at risk. An alternative, share photos and posts after vacation.