The holidays often bring lots of traveling for vacations or to visit family and friends. While this should be a fun and relaxing time, unfortunately thieves take advantage of this season and break into people's homes while they're away. Here are some tips that can help you prevent this from happening to your home.
1. Secure Your Valuables
One of the most reasonable things you can do to protect your valuables is to invest in a home safe. While there is no guaranteed method for keeping thieves out of your home, you can rest easier knowing that your most irreplaceable items are safe. While keeping physical items like jewelry or other heirlooms in the safe is a good idea, this is also a good place to keep important documents so that they won't be stolen or damaged.
2. Put Your Lights on a Timer
Whether you have a smart light system or old-fashioned timers, setting up a few lights to turn on and off during the time you're away can help deter thieves. If you can, set your interior lights to go on and off at random times throughout the day to help make it look even more convincing that someone is home. Put light-sensitive bulbs on your exterior lights so that they turn on when it gets dark and off when it's light out. This will not only help it look like someone is home, but it will also help you save on electricity.
3. Don't Share Your Plans on Social Media
While it's tempting to tell the world about your exciting trip or your adorable niece while you're gone, it's best to wait until after you return to post this information publicly. While your friends probably aren't going to rob your home, this makes it all too easy for others with more nefarious intentions to notice that you're out of town and that your house is vacant.
4. Put a Hold on Your Mail
Not only does an overflowing mailbox make it obvious that no one is home, but it also makes it more tempting for someone to steal your mail and the important documents and information that come with it. To avoid this, put a hold on your mail and newspapers during the time that you'll be gone. If you have a package delivered while you're away, ask a friend to pick it up and hold on to it for you.
5. Phone a Friend
It's a good idea to ask a trusted neighbor or friend to keep an eye on your home while you're away. Give them your spare key instead of leaving it under your doormat and ask them to pick up packages, mow your lawn or shovel your driveway if it snows. They can also water your plants and feed your fish, as well as check to make sure there aren't any dripping faucets or appliances left on. Just make sure you bring them a token of your appreciation when you return and then willingly return the favor.
6. Protect Your Home From Itself
Having your house broken into isn't the only thing that can cause an extra headache and expense. If there is a cold snap, your pipes can burst, so make sure you leave your heater at a reasonable level while you're away. You may even want to shut off your water, just in case. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working as well, and consider installing a smart system that will notify you if something is awry.
7. Consider Installing Security Systems
Especially if you're away regularly, investing in a home security system might be worthwhile. Whether you choose a professionally monitored system or just set up security cameras and smart doorbells that you watch yourself, having a system in place will allow you to quickly alert the authorities if something happens. It can also help you deter break-ins to begin with, since thieves are typically less likely to target a home with a security system in place.
Give yourself peace of mind when you're traveling during the holidays by following these tips. Not only will they help you protect your home and the valuable items within it, but they'll also help you be able to fully relax and enjoy your time away.