Looking to learn more about home security while on vacation this winter? Look no further, this blog is for you! First, a little peek behind the curtain.
Since we are approaching the winter holidays, this month on the blog we are going to publish one big one instead of our usual two. There’s a reason for it. For one, Thanksgiving is nearly here and folks will be traveling to visit family, because of that we wanted to make sure we got this one out before the holidays hit. So instead, enjoy this double-sized post all about home security while on vacation!
Here we are always keeping our minds on the prize: a secure, safe home life with no worries of theft or danger. Meanwhile, we are fast approaching the winter holidays, a time when any of us are heading cross country to spend holidays back home with extended families. That means houses are being left ‘empty’ or seemingly unguarded for up to weeks at a time. As you can imagine, that doesn’t sit well with us.
Here are some of our top tips for home security while on vacation, or any other reason you might be away from your home for a long stretch of time.
Home Security While on Vacation
Get a Friend
Have a friend or neighbor who isn’t going anywhere for the upcoming winter holidays? Perfect! Talk to them about stopping by your place from time to time to check up on things, give the place some life. Adjust blinds, move patio furniture, park their car for a while. Anything that shows the house is occupied, and someone is around.
Suspend Newspaper and Mail
Piles and piles of newspapers and jam-packed mailboxes are other dead give aways that nobody is at the house. Head over the USPS site and have them hold onto your mail at the local office for free, for up to 30 days. Any longer than that and you’ll need to make other arrangements but regardless, keeping the mail from piling up will give the illusion you are home.
Prep Your Home
This tip goes for a wide range of things that don’t necessarily improve security but will keep your home safe. If you have storm drains and gutters, clean them out to make sure there’s no flooding.
If you have a newer water heater, take a look at it for a programmed vacation mode. It keeps the water warm enough not to freeze any pipes and explodes but not high enough to cost you anything in energy. Older water heater? You can manually set the temperature so get to it. You want to keep I around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Shut off the different water mains depending on what you need or want. Want your sprinklers to still work on their schedule, turn off the water at the various fixtures in the home. You don’t want to come home to find a flooded house, basement, etc.
Speaking of saving energy. There’s no reason to be spending money heating (or cooling) your home when no one is going to be there. If you can get yourself a smart thermostat for instance, you can have a scheduled temp change to keep it just where it needs to be.
Go around, unplug all your nonessential electronics. While it may save you a few bucks in power, the big thing is that it reduces the risk of any possible fire hazards and power surges.
Lock Up Everything
Sure, this is a no-brainer but hey let’s mention it. Check, double check all windows, doors, and other entries. If you are one of those who have spare keys stashed around the yard (which is never the most secure move anyways, get a smart lock!) make sure to bring those inside. Those hidings spots are rarely as clever as we think they are!
Keep the Vacation on the DL
Don’t set your voicemail, email auto replies, answering machine or any social posts. While we’d all like to think our family and friends aren’t going to use that information for ill gain, we can’t be sure who all gets the message. So, it’s best to keep that knowledge out of the public sphere.
Light It Up
Install some outdoor security lights. Would-be-burglars go for areas that are hidden from view or dark and obscured areas. With a system of lights arranged to provide maximum illumination, you can create an environment that isn’t as interesting for burglars.
And of course…
Get a Professional Monitored Security System
Having a home security system that is monitored by professionals will get faster reactions and results than an unmanned system. When the system is monitored, the company (like Central Alarm) can call the necessary authorities immediately when something has occurred. This is much more immediate and reliable than getting a text alert on your phone when you’re out of the country.
All of these tips revolve around a couple of ideas: simulating human presence, decreasing the viability of your home or property as a target, and properly preparing your home for being vacant for a length of time. Should you follow all of these, you should have a home that is perfectly ready for you to return to following your winter vacation.
Have the spare keys pulled inside, the house prepped and lights set up? Still need a professionally installed and maintained security system? That’s where Central Alarm comes in. Give us a call and whether you need secure wireless security systems or even guard services, you can fill out a vacation request form and enjoy your vacation without having to worry what might happen.