Home Security Tips While On Vacation
When you’re going away on a trip or vacation, home security should be on the list of important things to consider. It’s not just about protecting yourself from intruders: it’s also about preparing yourself from mechanical problems that could easily develop in a house which is left empty for some time. The worst part about these problems is that nobody will take notice of them until you return. That is, of course unless you hire a house sitter. But if that’s not your style, you should read about these tips right now on how to minimize possible problems so you can rest easy on your trip, knowing that your house will be okay.
First, the main water valve must be shut off. This is usually located on the front side of the house, facing the street. If you encounter any problems you can always ask a plumber for help. This includes installing a bypass valve so your plants continue to be watered, especially if the irrigation line is connected to the main valve.
Also turn off your water heater, either through the large breaker at the main electrical panel or by turning off the valve completely (if your water heater runs on gas). Consequently turn off all non-essential electric circuit breakers to minimize the risk of electrical fires. If you have difficulty doing this, trace the wiring and label them with colored tape to differentiate the essential from the non-essential ones. Essential lines are connected to your security system and indoor/outdoor lighting.
To maximize your home security, set up timers to make the lights go on and off at certain times in the day. This will deter would be burglars from choosing your home as a target, because doing this creates an illusion of occupancy. Next, try as much as possible to never broadcast that you are away. Avoid posting “I’m on a long vacation” or similar messages like that online, because you don’t know who is going to read that and take advantage of it. Also adjust your phone’s ringing volume beforehand to the lowest volume, or better yet turn the ringer off. Burglars know that an unanswered phone means an empty house.
Next, leave some blinds and curtains in their usual positions as much as possible, while taking care to never display any valuables within view. Secure these from theft in a safety deposit box or a home safe. Likewise, if your computer contains any personal information, make sure it is turned off and disconnected from the Internet. You should also dispose of any bills and receipts that could possibly lead to identity theft.
Of course, one of the most important things you shouldn’t forget is to activate your security system and notify your home security company of your intent to go on a trip. Next, never forget to lock all doors and windows. This actually sounds like common sense you don’t need to think about, but it is actually a tip that most homeowners forget to do. A lot of burglars simply walk in an empty house because a door or window is ajar.
If you follow these home security tips, you will surely enjoy your trip or vacation a lot more, because you rest at ease knowing that your home is safe.