Every year, millions of Americans flee their homes to travel for the holidays. Some will leave their house for a few hours, some a few days, and some a few weeks. While packing, cooking, and wrapping may top your to-do list, don’t forget about securing your home before you go.
The main thing to be concerned about is burglary. While the classic holiday comedy “Home Alone” may make us laugh every year, it also reminds us that this time of the year is a very active time for burglars. Nationally, burglaries peak during the summer months, but December is close behind. The key is to try and make it seem like you’re home, even when you’re not. Here’s how:
#1 Tell a Trusted Neighbor
It’s always nice to have friends in the neighborhood. It’s even better when those friends are in town while you’re traveling. Neighbors can keep an eye on the house, grab your mail for you, pick up the newspaper off the driveway, and provide an overall sense of security for you as you travel. Leaving a full mailbox and 5 newspapers piled up on the driveway is an easy way for burglars to tell no one is home!
#2 Arrange for Snow Removal
Winter storms can make it obvious that nobody’s home. If it happens to snow while you’re gone, you can ask a neighbor to shovel your driveway for you. Some people might feel uncomfortable putting that unwanted task on a friendly neighbor. If you can, try and find a teenager who can come shovel for $10-$15, or you can always hire a service. Just ask your neighbor to let you know when it’s needed.
#3 Resist the Urge to Post on Social Media
It’s always best to keep your travel plans off of your social media networks. That means no updates on:
– Where you’re going
– When you’re leaving
– When you’ll be back
Wait until you are back home safely to recap your trip to your family and friends. Even if you have the highest security settings on your accounts, you never want to chance it. This information is exactly what a thief needs to find their next victim.
#4 Invest in Home Automation
Automatic lights, motion sensor lights, smart home apps: these are all great ways to show burglars that you are watching them. Smart devices like the Ring doorbell can even help you keep track of packages so you can ask your neighbors to grab them for you. There truly is a myriad of options now to allow us to take care of our home even when we aren’t home.
#5 Be Mindful of Your Trash
If you got yourself a big screen TV on Black Friday and you want to recycle the box before you leave, never, ever leave that box on your curbside for the world to see. You are simply saying, “Hey everyone! Look what I have brand new in my house that you can come steal!” Burglars are always on the lookout for such garbage items. Break down boxes and put them inside a black garbage back or deep in the recycling bin.
#6 Invest in Home Security System
Last but not least, if you don’t have one already, now is a great time to invest in a home security system. These systems will protect your home and your family and give you an immense sense of security and peace of mind during your holiday travels.
Do you have any tips on keeping your home safe while traveling? Let us know in the comment section below!