As a homeowner when planning a short holiday or long vacation you need to plan care for your property and pets. Keeping your home secure and your pets happy and safe is always a priority as in many of our lives they count among our most precious possessions. While many of us are happy to find trusted housesitters and petsitters to keep an eye on things when we’re away it is always worth considering all the options available. Read this blog for some helpful hints for how to keep your home secure while you are away.
How to Keep Home Secure While on Vacation
When people go out of town for vacations, they’re often swept away in the pure excitement of getting away from it all. However, this kind of enthusiasm may cause them to forget about things that can leave a home vulnerable to theft. While there’s no reason to turn one’s home into an impenetrable fortress, travellers may want to keep the following tips in mind before they set out on their next adventure.
Find a Housesitter – Keep Your Property Safe
It goes without saying that at HouseSitMatch we always recommend finding a housesitter to look after your home. Finding a checked housesitter from a reputable firm and briefing them in the way you want your home maintained means you leave with peace of mind. You’ll have briefed the sitter to care for your pets and property in the way you would like them to be cared for. Your home will be occupied which will keep any opportunist burglars or thieves away.
Enlist the Neighbours
If you are away for a short trip, a weekend or just a few days most neighbours are usually happy to help keep you home secure. Asking a neighbour to pick up the mail or water the houseplants is more about throwing potential intruders off track than it is about the health of the ficus tree (although that may be a high priority as well). Any kind of activity in or around a vacated home sends a message that the house is attended to. Most criminals are looking for easy jobs that are the very definition of a quick in-and-out. If they’re not sure if people are in the home or when the someone will drop by next, they will usually decide to move on.
Limit the Spare Keys
Too many spare keys loaned out is messy for homeowners, and increases the chances of unexpected visitors while homeowners are away. Collecting any extraneous spare keys before leaving town can limit confusion and give homeowners extra peace of mind they need when they’re out and about. Rather than keeping that fake rock by the porch, consider loaning out a key to the trusted individual that will attend to the house while you are away.
Stay on Schedule
Manage the delivery of newspapers to ensure a pile of post and papers doesn’t look suspicious. Equally if you have a garden maintenance contract make sure they come as usual. if they fail to turn up to work on Saturday as per their routine it will look strange. A poorly maintained garden will also show people that someone has left their home for an extended period. Keeping normal maintenance and services on a regular schedule won’t send the signals or red flags that criminals look for when they’re deciding which spots to hit next.
Upping Security on a Budget
Travellers don’t necessarily need to buy cameras that transmit a live feed to their phones or an expensive alarm system that connects directly to a trained security team. What they can do though is look for easy ways to protect their property. Locking doors and windows and keeping lights on while you’re away could be enough to deter thieves. Putting lights on a timer is another way to ensure your home looks occupied while reducing wasted energy. One can also leave a radio on as well – preferably to a talk radio station. This will make it sound as though there are people talking in the home.
Lock Up Valuables
It doesn’t hurt to put the most valuable items in the home into a secured space, such as a safe. Homeowners can even consider putting their most precious items in a locked deposit box at their local bank if it brings them peace-of-mind. Even if a cherished item isn’t traditionally valuable to an intruder, it can still be damaged or destroyed while they’re inside.
At the end of the day, the majority of homes will not be the target of any ill-intentioned individuals. However, taking a few extra steps to make sure that everything will be fine can give travellers peace-of-mind when leaving for a long trip.