Sometimes, going “home” for the holidays means leaving your own home empty for a period of time. With the number of people who travel over the holidays, it’s a prime time for would-be thieves to take advantage of your absence. Follow these tips to keep your most valuable asset safe while you’re away.
The risk of a break-in is only one consideration if you’ll be traveling in the upcoming weeks. Fire safety is a big concern during the holiday season. Dried out Christmas Trees make great kindling for fires – so make sure that yours is well away from heat registers or radiators, and unplug any lights that you’ve decorated with before you leave. If you’ll be gone for an extended time, you might want to consider furnace maintenance before heading out. The last thing you want to come home to is a ruptured water pipe because your heat went out!
Thanks to a whole host of connected home security products, you can now keep an eye on your home from almost anywhere. If you don’t have a security system that is monitored professionally, you can buy systems that are easily installed with basic tools and an internet connection. There are many options available, including smart doorbells with cameras that allow you to speak to whoever is at your door. There are also motion activated flood lights for the outside of your home that incorporate cameras for an extra layer of security. If you have an Alexa device in your home, you can even play pre-recorded conversations that make it sound like someone is home. Additional products let you turn on and off your interior lights remotely or on a time schedule.
YOUR HOME SHOULDN’T LOOK ABANDONED
If you will be away for a while, consider hiring a service for snow removal, or ask a neighbor to help out. Nothing says “empty home” like snow covered driveways and sidewalks, especially days after a snow fall. Additionally, depending on your city’s regulations, you could be fined for not having your stretch of a public sidewalk cleared in a timely manner. You should also consider pausing deliveries and having your mail held if you will be gone for an extended time. An overflowing mailbox or accumulated newspapers on your porch are red flags to anyone watching your home or neighborhood.
DON’T INSTAGRAM IT
Even if your social media profiles are set to “private”, it is not advised to post about your vacation or when you will be gone. You never really know who has access to that information and it’s best to not put it out there. Wait until you get home to post all of your vacation pictures. If you must post while you are gone, consider having a friend help out with watching your place while you’re away so it’s clear that someone is still coming and going from your home.