Tis the season for travelling to warmer climates and overnight stays with family. Before heading out and leaving your home unattended, follow these six tips to keep your home secure and your mind at ease.
Ask For Help
This is the golden rule to leaving your home unattended for an extended period of time. Having a family friend or a close neighbor give you a hand while you’re away on a holiday is a really smart idea. In addition to driving by to make sure your house is still standing, give your friend a spare key to check the indoors as well.
If you don’t put a hold on your mail, ask your friend to bring it inside, turn on the water to keep your pipes from freezing and if there’s a nasty snowfall, graciously request that they shovel your driveway. In Canada, there’s nothing that screams, “I’m not home!” like an unshovelled driveway a day or two after a large snowfall. This could be a big task to your friend so make sure you thank them with something special, a gift card to their favourite store or restaurant or another gift you know they would appreciate.
Time is Ticking
A timer for your electronics is a wise thing to invest in before you leave for your vacation. You can set the timer to put your lights on and off which is a great thing for the evenings. Timers are especially useful for your outdoor lights around your home. Make sure these lights go on as the sun sets and stay on until sunrise. The only note to remember when setting the timer on your electronics, is to make sure that you don’t over use them, only time a couple of main lights that you would normally use – you don’t want your house to be lit up like a Christmas Tree, causing a surge in your energy bill.
Social Media Mavens
We live in a world where updating your status, or uploading a great photo of you on the beach are regular norms but if no one is at home, consider staying off social media for the time being. You truly have no idea how many people can see your social media pages so be careful how much you share this holiday. Stay away from statuses announcing that you and the family are escaping down south for a couple weeks or that you’re heading to the in-laws for a few days.
The Final Check List
- If you have any spare keys hidden outside, bring them inside, burglars know all the best spots and will check anywhere and everywhere for a key
- Avoid any surges in your energy bill by unplugging any appliances that you won’t be using, unplug any televisions, coffee makers and lamps. A lot of appliances draw power even when they’re off
- Don’t close all your blinds and drapes, leave a few open so it doesn’t look so obvious that no one is home