Heading out of Town? Make Sure Your Home is Protected
Whether you’re heading out of town for the weekend or packing up the entire family for an extended vacation, taking the time to make sure your home is protected before hitting the road is crucial. By taking the following tips into consideration, you can go on vacation knowing that your home will be safe and sound while you’re away.
1. Make it look like someone is home. Install timers on interior lights so they turn on and off periodically. There are also products available that are capable of varying the time that your lights turn on. You may even want to consider leaving a radio on and tuned to an all-news or talk show station.
2. Disconnect and remove all exterior electrical decorations to reduce the chance of fire and theft. If you don’t already have them, install exterior lights controlled by motion sensors to make your home a more difficult target for prowlers.
3. Make a plan for the newspaper and other deliveries. If you provide enough notice, you can put your newspaper delivery on hold. Otherwise, ask a neighbor to grab your paper and any other circulars or brochures that may be left on your front stoop. Likewise for any unexpected UPS deliveries.
4. Have the post office hold your mail. If you can’t arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail, notify the post office up to 30 days in advance of your vacation; at a minimum, two days will be needed to process your request.
5. If you have an alarm that is monitored, tell the alarm company you’ll be away. If possible, provide a phone number where you can be reached.
6. Nothing beats a good neighbor. Ask your neighbor to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity and possibly even park their car in your driveway, if yours is on the road with you or at the airport. If police regularly patrol your neighborhood, give law enforcement authorities your schedule so they can watch for suspicious activity. If there's a crime-watch program, notify the person in charge.