Holiday travel is great and all, but being away from home for weeks at a time puts your house and your belongings at risk of theft, vandalism, and other unwanted happenings. If you’re planning to be gone even for a few days in a row, it’s important that you consider the safety of your home when making your travel arrangements. There is definitely a variety of ways in which you can keep your home safe during holiday travels – and most won’t even cost you more than a few dollars.
1. Tell a Neighbor Where You’re Going
Don’t just run off on a winter adventure without telling someone on your block where you’re headed. Let a neighbor or someone you trust know where you’re off to. Ask if they can keep an eye out on your house, or even dry by a few times a day to make sure that everything is safe and sound.
2. Keep Your Itinerary Private
There are more dangers now that social media is so prevalent in our lives. Resist the urge to share your detailed itinerary online – just keep it between you and other relevant parties. Posting your travel plans on social media is like putting a big red “ROB THIS HOUSE” sign on your rooftop.
3. Keep Presents Out of Sight
If you’re travelling before Christmas or Hanukkah, make sure to keep your presents out of sight. This means away from windows where passersby can peek in and see just exactly what they want to steal. The same goes for other valuables in the home.
4. Leave Your Curtains Open
Contrary to what you might think, closing up your curtains can actually be a sign that you’re not home. Unless you normally keep your curtains closed during the day, leave them open as you normally would. This leads potential burglars to think that someone is home.
5. Keep a Light On
On a similar note, leave a light or two on while you’re away. This gives the illusion that the home is occupied – or at least instills doubt in a potential robber or vandal. Just make sure your light is LED so you’re not racking up a high energy bill!
6. Inspect the Chimney and Heater
It’s a good idea to have your furnace and chimney inspected before you go away for the holidays. Even if you aren’t going to use either of them while you’re gone, they can be a huge fire hazard – and you don’t want to come home to a house destroyed by fire.
7. Inspect Your Christmas Lights
Another fire hazard is your Christmas lights. Go ahead and leave them on (and keep them on a timer) while you’re away – but inspect them as you’re stringing them up outside to spot any potential faulty wiring. If you have a real Christmas tree, just leave it off during your trip and avoid any fire risk.
8. Turn on a Radio
Another great way to deter bandits is to get a small portable AM/FM radio and turn it on while you’re gone. A radio doesn’t use much energy at all, and if someone hears it from outside, they’ll likely pass over your house as a potential break-in.
9. Install an Alarm System
Get an alarm system, especially if your neighborhood is at high risk for burglary (or you’ve been burgled in the past). The alarm will sound if someone enters the home or vandalizes the outdoors, and you’ll get a notification via phone or email if your alarm goes off.
10.Invest in Security Cameras
Digital video cameras are a dime a dozen these days, it seems. Buy a few and place them at the entryways to your home. That way you can capture video footage of anyone sneaking up to your home while you’re gone.
Remember above all else to travel safely during the holidays. Follow our 10 tips on how to keep your home safe during holiday travel, and you’re on your way to a stress-free, relaxing family vacation this winter.
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