How to Keep My Home Safe While On Vacation
Hello, summer. Vacation is calling. According to The Vacationer(Opens in a new window), “more than 80 percent of American adults intend to travel this summer.” If you’re one of the many people planning a well-earned vacation with your family in 2022, don’t forget to protect your home while you are away. After all, the best vacations are worry-free.
So how do you protect your home while you are on vacation? Follow these tips to have peace of mind and know that you’ve done your part to keep your home safe while you’re off enjoying those fabulous vacation vibes.
Home Security Systems Offer Positive Assurance.
When it comes to keeping your home safe, many of the actions you already take while you are in town, also protect your house and belongings while you're away. A security system is one example. While your security system is always important, the features of the security system you install become more meaningful while you are you are traveling.
A survey(Opens in a new window) commissioned by YouGov reported that 38 percent of Americans own some type of security product. There are many types of security systems to select from. From traditional to smart home security systems, each offers pros and cons to keeping your home safe. For a comparison between traditional and smart home security systems, check out My Automated Palace(Opens in a new window).
Security systems can range from:
- Video doorbells
- Alarm systems that sound when someone enters the house
- Self-monitored systems
- Systems with 24/7 monitoring by an outside company to
- Security systems with a mix of various products.
A smart system monitors your home and reacts based on the actions taking place. Different smart security systems can even detect flooding, fire, carbon monoxide, etc. This can be extra reassuring when you are away on vacation.
One feature many people appreciate is a camera. According to the YouGov survey, of the 38 percent of people who owned a security product, 18.2 percent owned a video camera, video doorbell, or both. Many video cameras allow you to view the video from afar. So, no matter where you are, these systems allow you to keep tabs on your house and record any unexpected and unwelcome visitors.
Installing a smart home security system… not only helps protect your home, family, and belongings but it can also raise the value of your property. A joint study(Opens in a new window) conducted by Coldwell Banker and CNET found that 81 percent of home buyers indicated they were more likely to buy a home if smart features were already installed. The takeaway… a smart security system could help your house sell more quickly in the long run.
If you’re looking to add a smart security system to your home, check out CNET’s top picks for the best home security systems(Opens in a new window). You’ll find some systems can be installed yourself, while others will need the assistance of a professional.
Spare Keys Don’t Belong Under a Doormat.
Too many people hide their spare key where someone can find it. It’s an extremely common practice for people who are afraid of locking themselves out of their homes. But, it’s not a safe one! If your spare key can be easily obtained by a stranger, your home is never safe. It’s even more of a liability when you are out of town and can’t keep tabs on the key’s location. Instead of hiding your spare key under a doormat, consider installing a garage door opener keypad or hiding your key in one of the places(Opens in a new window) suggested by the respected home security company, ADT.
Make People Think You’re At Home.
When you go on vacation, do all you can to hide the fact that you are gone. Below is a list of five simple things you can do to make it look like you’re at home.
- Put your lights on timers.
- Have someone mow your lawn if you’ll be gone for an extended period of time.
- Ask a trusted neighbor to pick up any packages you’ll have delivered while you’re away.
- Put your mail and newspaper on hold, or ask a neighbor to pick them up as well.
- Park a car in the driveway.
Post to Social Media AFTER Your Vacation.
A common way for burglars to know what houses to rob is to watch posts on Facebook and other social media platforms. A U.K. study(Opens in a new window) found that a staggering 78 percent of burglars use social media to find their targets.
What does this mean? Refrain from sharing your epic vacation pictures until you return home. It’s so tempting to share photos and reels in real-time while you’re walking by the ocean, sitting by the pool, or hiking up a mountain. From the delicious food to your hotel and all the selfies in between, it’s natural to want to share your joy with others. But do it once you’re home. You’ll still get to share with friends and followers, but you’ll also keep your house safe while on vacation this summer.
Ask Your Neighbors For Help.
If you trust your neighbors, they can act as feet on the street at your property. Not only can they help with small favors that make it look like you are home, such as picking up newspapers and grabbing deliveries, but they can also be your eyes. If your neighbors see anything suspicious they can let you know or report it depending on the severity.
They may also be willing to get your mail for you, which saves you from contacting the post office to put a hold on your mail.
If you don’t have a neighbor you trust, consider asking an in-town family member or friend to stop by and check on the house during your vacation. Another great option to look into is hiring a house-sitter.
Turn-Off and Unplug Your Utilities and Appliances.
If you’ll be gone for any length of time, consider protecting your home by turning off your water and unplugging your appliances. This will protect your home from potential water damage should an unfortunate accident occur. It will also help save small amounts of energy that continue to run through appliances such as your microwave and coffee maker when they are not in use. Don’t unplug everything though, your freezer and refrigerator should remain plugged in to protect your food while you’re gone. Also, while you are prepping appliances for vacation, remember to set your thermostat for vacation.
The Bottom Line.
Keeping your home secure while you are out of town isn’t an exact science but following these tips will help. Whether you love the beach, the mountains, or the city, these tips will help you enjoy your favorite places without worrying about home security. By doing a little work up front to keep your home safe while you are on vacation, you’ll be ready for a stress-free time away.
For more information on how adding a smart home system could impact your property value, contact a Guardian Mortgage professional(Opens in a new window).
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