The world we live in today is not as safe as it used to be. Therefore, leaving the house for a longer period of time often makes people uncomfortable. This article is meant to ensure to help you create a peace of mind and enjoy your vacation.
Before you leave
Before you go on your holiday, make sure that there are no deliveries made to your home. Tell your milkman, if you trust them, that you won’t be needing any milk while you are away. Cancel your newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Also, contact the post office to ask them to keep your mail for you, instead of delivering it. Nothing says that you are not at home more than a full letterbox and a pile of newspapers on your front lawn.
Unplug all the electrical appliances in your home. You will reduce the expense created by “phantom load”. While you are at it, do not forget to switch off or lock your garage door. Without doing this, you leave your house open to intruders with a universal garage-door remote. Apart from intruders and electricity savings, unplugging will give you a peace of mind. You will be sure that nothing is on and that the house will not burst into flames while you are gone.
The safest option for keeping your home safe while you are away is to get a house-sitter. Ask one of your friends or family members to move in your home for the length of your vacation. Alternatively, you can ask them to come around daily, or every other day to check whether everything is all right, water the plants, and feed your pets. They can also collect any flyers left at your door. If there is no one available to assist you, you can always hire an agency to do it for you.
The security system
If you have a dog, and if you have someone to come by and feed it, leaving it at home can provide some security. Also, look into less traditional systems. Equip your home with a security alarm if you do not have one already. People from Portcullis remind us that the burglary is not the worst thing that can happen to a home and that a fire alarm is a must. Leave your key and the alarm code with someone you trust and who lives nearby. Let the police or the alarm company know who they can turn to if there is a need.
You should do everything in your power to make your home look lived-at while you are away. If you cannot get someone to live in your home, use a couple of tricks to make it seem so. Do not close off the shutters on your windows. They are not normally a security feature. Kept closed, they a clear sign that there is no one at home. The same applies to your curtains unless they are see-through.
Get timers for your interior lights and have them switch on for a couple of hours in the evening. Alternatively, obtain photosensitive bulbs and they will switch on automatically. Keep solar lights in your garden, as well as a motion sensor light. Carefully choose which lights you want on while you are away. A window lamp may be too obvious. Also, depending on your home’s layout and windows, make sure that the light does not provide a clear overview of a major part of the house, clearly showing that there is nobody there.
Do not make it public
Social media makes information about other people’s lives widely available. People even jokingly say that if something is not on social media, it hasn’t actually happened. Use that to your advantage and pretend you are at home by not notifying the entire world about you being away. If you write a travel blog or enjoy posting pictures and your experiences, wait till you are back. Once you are home, and the house is safe again, you can make up the time lost, and let your friends know you had been on a vacation.
Obviously, the precaution you should take depends on the length of your vacation and your neighborhood. If you live in a safe area, a friendly one, with a neighborhood watch in place, you can probably simply let them know you will be away and they can help you keep your home safe. Alternatively, use the tips above for a relaxing holiday and no surprises after it.
Author: Audrey Taylor was born in San Francisco, and moved to Adelaide at the age of five. Marketer researcher and social media manager on hold, full – time mommy of a cheerful two-year-old. Graduated from Queensford college, worked in a couple of marketing agencies across Australia, eager to learn more about business and share her experiences. Traveled across Europe. Her hobbies include home decor, fashion, travel, music, old movies.