Vacations are a great way to unwind and make unforgettable memories. However, you must consider the safety of your home in your absence before you pack your bags and hit the road. Recent US data reported a 35% increase in burglaries, a more compelling reason to take the right steps to protect your home from potential break-ins and other threats. Do you want to relax and enjoy your vacation without worrying about the safety of your property? Below are nine ways to safeguard your house while you are away.
- Maintain your cleaning schedule
If you have household assistance, request they continue to come while you are gone. This way, your house won’t look abandoned if you’re not around. Your household staff could include house cleaners, landscapers, and the swimming pool maintenance person. Please encourage them to continue arriving on time in your absence to put your mind at ease. However, it’s best to find other alternatives if you’re uncomfortable leaving them alone without supervision. Likewise, don’t inform them you are leaving.
- Secure your pipes
When leaving for vacation, you must secure your house to avoid potential damage and costly repairs. Pipes can get destroyed or explode if not properly maintained, causing substantial water damage to your property. Contact your local plumbing maintenance company to assist in maintaining your pipes so they’re safe and operational while you’re gone. Suppose you’re traveling during severe weather conditions like extremely hot weather or snow. In that case, these professionals will evaluate your plumbing system, repair leaks, and even empty your pipes to keep them in good condition. Then you can rest assured that your house is safe from water damage while you are gone.
- Inform your local police department
It may be worth notifying the police in your area that your residence will be vacant briefly. This step is particularly useful if you reside in a small town, as the police may check on your home during patrols. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to watch your home if you live in a major city or area with a high crime rate. In this case, you can consider hiring private security before departure day.
- Install a video doorbell
You can use these small gadgets to give your building extra protection. Smart digital doorbells let you view who rings your doorbell from anywhere globally. You will receive an alert on your mobile phone and can communicate with the visitor in real-time. You can instruct the person to return later or drop the parcel at the back, whichever works best for you. You don’t have to tell them you’re on vacation. Some video doorbells come with motion detectors that will notify you if someone is loitering on your front porch, and if you lose mobile phone coverage, you can watch the video footage later.
- Fire protection in the home
Fires can occur even when your home is vacant, so you must regularly test your smoke alarms before leaving. It would help to change your smoke alarms every ten years. Switch off and disconnect any unneeded electrical appliances, such as fans, TVs, lights, and radios, to help decrease the danger of fires caused by electricity while your home is unoccupied. Close inside doors as much as possible to help reduce the spreading of fire and smoke if the worst happens.
- Disconnect your garage door
Is your garage door remote-controlled? Then it’s best to disconnect it before you leave. Most garages provide direct entry into homes, making it easy for criminals who can disarm the electronic signal to break into your home in a flash. They also have easy access to all your valuables, including the hidden car in your garage. Even if there is no access to your home via the garage, there is always the possibility of several items being taken. So secure the garage door and any other entry points.
- Examine your homeowners’ insurance policy
It is critical to review your homeowner insurance policy to confirm that it is current and updated before you leave for your vacation to have peace of mind. If something goes wrong while you are gone, you want your policy to cover the repair costs when you return. Most insurers don’t require you to notify them when you are heading for vacation. However, you should inform them if you take an extended vacation since it may change your policy terms. If you must select an insurance provider, pick one with extensive coverage options and possibly bundle multiple policies. Meanwhile, while sorting out your home insurance, you may be considering other aspects to cover. In that case, if you’re in or around Virginia, insurance specialists like Insurance Doctor can assist you with all your personal and commercial needs, including auto insurance and specific options like Uber insurance in VA, among others.
- Get a house sitter
Lastly, if you’re worried about having your house vacant while you’re gone, consider getting a house sitter. It might be a friend or relative you trust or a credible company that provides professional home-sitting services. Your sitter may take care of typical household activities such as landscaping, feeding your pets, maintaining your plants, bringing out the garbage while you are away, and keeping your house well-occupied to prevent thieves.
- Advertise your security
Installing a surveillance system in your home will certainly discourage robbers. And making it obvious that your home is secure can also serve as an excellent deterrent. Set up notices or stickers close to your most visible and accessible entrance points, such as front and rear doors and any entryway leading from the garage. As simple as it sounds, this scare tactic can deter most thieves from attempting to break in while you are away.
To make the most of your well-deserved vacation, ensure you have enough mechanisms to care for your house while you are gone. Taking a few of the above steps can allow you to return home to find everything exactly as you left it.