We get so excited about our travel plans we might forget how to keep our homes and offices safe while we’re gone. Just a few quick fixes can make a difference.
- Stop delivery of newspapers and mail.
- Set some lights and music or TV on a timer.
- Check that all doors and windows are securely locked (including any outbuildings).
- Don’t close all your blinds. Try to keep an everyday appearance.
- In winter, turn your heat down (but not below 55 degrees if it might freeze), and check faucets, toilets and water heaters to make sure they are completely off.
- Have someone check your phone messages on a regular basis. DO NOT have your phone message recorder state that you are away.
- Ask a friend to stop by, pick up flyers on the doorstep, take out and bring in your garbage bins, just to make your place look lived in.
- Ask a friend or neighbor to hold a house key, travel itinerary, and emergency phones numbers. (They can send you updates via email if you check in from on the road.)
- Keep the perimeter of your house well lighted, but don’t change it significantly from when you are at home.
- If you will be gone for more than a week, consider arranging for yard care while you are away.
- Empty your refrigerator of perishables.
- Store valuables (jewelry, computers, financial papers) in a safe place. Identity Theft is on the rise, and can be much more costly than the loss of objects.
- Don’t forget that little doggie door! Physically lock the garage door to thwart criminals with scanning door openers.
- Some communities have a “police watch” service. Consider asking the local police to swing by your home occasionally to check.
- Check your insurance to make sure it is up to date and covers your current property.
- Be sure to notify your credit card companies when and where you will be traveling.
Enjoy the ride,
Frank and Leslee