When you go traveling, I’m sure you make a point to protect the various things you bring with you—including your laptop, children, even spouse. But what about something you left behind? Your home? Is that being protected too?
- Don’t wait till the last minute to arrange kenneling for your pet.
- Tidy up the exterior of your house including mowing the lawn. Overgrown grass, unmoved rubbish and dormant toys/tools make a house look unoccupied. If you plan on traveling long enough for the grass to get overgrown, arrange with a trusted adult to mow your lawn.
- Don’t leave your car outside.
- Put your snail mail and any paper delivery on vacation hold.
- Give spare keys to a trusted adult. This person should also know the “safe” word for your security system should they be in contact with the monitoring center.
- Hopefully you have a reliable neighbor who will promptly remove any flyers in your door or on the knob.
- Here’s something you probably never thought of: A burglar casing your street on trash pickup day may notice the one house whose trash cans aren’t at the curb. Hmmm…maybe those people are away on vacation? So have a neighbor bring your trash cans out on trash day—with trash in them—and then bring them back in.
- Get rid of food that may spoil while you’re away.
- Make sure the locks on your windows and doors work.
- Set up an automatic timed lighting system. Open curtains or shades enough to reveal this to anyone passing by, but not enough for someone to be able to see your valuables through your windows.
- Put as many valuables as you can in a fireproof, waterproof safe.
- To prevent water flooding problems, switch off the water to your dishwasher and washing machine.
- Make sure all appliances and electronic items are unplugged to avoid fires.
- Lower the thermostat but no less than 60’.
- Give the garbage disposal one last run, because if there is food waste in there you may come home to a swarm of fruit flies.
- Make sure your smoke detectors and home security system work.
- And don’t forget to turn your alarm system on before you embark on your trip.