Vacations should be a relaxing experience where memories are made and the mind and body have an opportunity to unwind from the stresses of everyday life. However, without proper planning, a vacation can become a stressful experience. One key part of the vacation planning process that many people overlook is making sure that their home is secure. A good home security plan can help people to have peace of mind while on their vacation and reduce the chances that a problem occurs.
Home Security Systems
Home security systems are useful when people are home and while they are away from the home. Making certain that a security system is properly working is a must before leaving on vacation. Those who have an actively monitored system should alert the security company of the dates that they will be out of town. Simple steps like making sure all of the doors and windows are locked and that all outside light fixtures are working can also help to keep a home safe. Hidden keys should also be taken inside to prevent thieves from finding the keys.
Inform a Neighbor
It always a good idea for those going on vacation to tell a neighbor how long that they will be out of town. Of course, this information should only be shared with a neighbor or neighbors that can be trusted. A neighbor can help to keep an eye on the home and report any suspicious activity. A neighbor can also pick up any mail, newspapers or packages that may be delivered. By keeping the mail picked up, the home will not look empty to thieves who may be driving around the neighborhood looking for a home to burglarize. Ideally, mail and paper delivery should be stopped when a person goes on vacation.
A home should not be left looking unoccupied during a vacation. Timers can be used to turn lights, radios and televisions on and off at set times. A car should be left in the driveway. If left turned on, porch lights should have a dusk to dawn sensor to prevent it from burning during the daylight hours. A home owner should not allow the grass to grow unchecked during a vacation. The grass and surrounding vegetation should be neatly trimmed to prevent the home from appearing abandoned.
If the home contains extremely valuable items, such as a large jewelry collection, expensive works of art or similar items, it may be wise to remove the items from the home. Storing the items in a safe deposit box, a relative’s home or other secure location will remove the risk of them being stolen if someone does break into the home. Valuables in the home should also be hidden from anyone who may look into the windows. Expensive lawn and garden equipment should be secured in a garage, storage shed or other safe location.
Shut Off Utilities
When leaving a home for a vacation, it can be a good idea to turn off the water and gas supply when practical. A burst water line or leaking gas appliance can create serious damage in a small amount of time. Both water and gas lines will have a main shutoff valve, generally located on the outside of the home near where the service line enters the home. If any of the gas appliances in the home have a pilot light, the pilot light will need to be lit when the homeowner returns from vacation.
By thinking ahead and completing a few simple tasks before leaving on vacation, homeowners can smooth the process of leaving for vacation and returning to a safe and undamaged home. Best of all, leaving a home safe and secure can increase the amount of enjoyment a person can have while on vacation.