Going Away? Home Safety Tips for Travel and VacationApril 6th, 2020
Traveling may look a little different in 2020 due to the coronavirus, but whether you are just looking to getaway when the time is right or if you need to travel work the same travel security tips still apply. With the potential for crimes to be on the rise due to the economic downturn your home may be more at risk.
If you are a seasoned traveler, you may already know these great safety tips for when you are away from home. But, before you pack your bags and hit the road have you thought about how to keep not only yourself safe but your property as well?
Before You Leave
Before you head out on your next trip, make sure you are preparing your home and property. You should be taking the extra steps to make it look like someone is still there. Potential burglars are looking for patterns to determine when a break-in can happen. Here are some ways you can take care of your home:
Talk to A Trusted Neighbor:
Do you have a neighbor you can trust? Ask them to do some tasks to help you out or to keep an eye on your property. Let them know if anyone will be entering your home while you are away, if they see any suspicious people around your property they can let you know.
Neighborhood Watch: Ask them to check in once in awhile to see what’s happening at your house or even to casually walk into the backyard. Having someone enter your property might seem like someone is home to a burglar.
Collecting Mail: When you are gone for the week, make sure you have that neighbor collecting mail. Have them hold that mail until you return. You can also call the post office to ask to delay your mail service until you return.
Trip Schedule: Give out your itinerary to a neighbor, family and/or friends so they can expect when you should return. If you don’t return they can notify authorities.
Do a routine check not only the day you leave but the day before. Make sure that windows are locked, back unused doors are locked, anything in the yard that could be used against the house to be put away and locked up and protect valuables. Don’t let this go to the last minute, it’s easy to forget things in the excitement and stress of departing.
Anticipate Additional Needs Due to COVID-19
- Pack enough alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) and keep it within easy to reach.
- Bring a cloth face covering to wear in public places.
- Prepare food and water for your trip. Pack non-perishable food in case restaurants and stores are closed.
- Take steps to protect yourself from COVID-19 – before your book your stay, look into the lodging facilities preventative measures.
- If you are considering cleaning your travel lodgings be sure to use CDC recommended cleaning practices.
- Book activities and make dining reservations in advance due to reduced capacity levels.
Visit the CDC website to read more about their guidelines for personal and social activities.
Securing Your Home When Away
We mentioned the importance of having a trusted neighbor, but you can also take extra steps when you are away to act like your home is being used. Here is how you can secure your home:
Avoid Social Media:
If you are on vacation and love checking-in to places via Facebook, or tagging where you are, try to resist the urge until you return from vacation. When you check-in to a location in another state or country it’s a clear indication that you are not home. If you do want to post pictures, it’s best to post them privately for a select group of close friends and family and not made visible to the public.
Make it Look Like You Are Home:
You can create the illusion that your home by setting your lights/and or television on a timer. If you have an extra car leave it in the driveway to make it seem like someone is inside. Also, if you are away longer than a week arrange to have your lawn maintained. This can easily be accomplished with a few simple smart home devices that can be controlled and automated with your home security app.
Unplug Devices and Shut Off Water Valves:
Make sure you take the extra 10-15 minutes to unplug any unnecessary appliances and devices. Not only will it save you money in energy costs, it will also secure your home from unusual appliances fires. You can also shut off water valves to exterior faucets, to the washing machine or the dishwasher to prevent water damage if there is an unexpected leak. You can also install water sensors to alert you of any flooding.
Lockup your Valuables:
Any laptops, computers, jewelry or items you would hate to see stolen, lock them up in a safe. This will add an extra layer of security and a peace of mind knowing you are the only one with the codes and making it more difficult for thieves to steal your valued property if they do enter your home. If you don’t lock them away, at least store them in an area that is not visible through any windows.
Close Your Window Treatments:
Draw the curtains and the blinds. Any time you leave home you can make your home less appealing to burglars by not allowing them to see what valuables you have inside your home. And they won’t be able to tell that you aren’t home when your timer turns on lights and TVs.
Before you leave, quickly change up your landscaping. Burglars have already probably imagined and set a plan on how to get in your home and where to hide. Quickly remove patio furniture or trim your hedges so there is more visibility. Remove objects like small statues, bricks or stones that robbers could grab to quickly smash a window. Visit our spring clean your security blog post for more landscaping security tips.
Keep Your Valuables Safe When Traveling
Keep cash with you always, and if you are traveling internationally be sure to keep your passport and travel visas in a safe place as well.
Emergencies happen. In case you’re in a situation where you can’t use your debit or credit card, always have cash on you. Things happen, and banks may not be open so having that extra stash of cash will come a long way. It’s also a good idea to keep your valuables in different pockets in case you are targeted by a pickpocket you won’t lose everything at once.
Set Up Alarm System Notifications When Away
Lastly have your notifications set up on your phones. You don’t need to worry about self-monitoring your home while you are away. No need to live view the cameras, just sit back and trust that your security system is monitored by a professional security company. Real-time alerts through you alarm system can also inform you of any unexpected activity so you can call in an emergency or intruder if need be.
Notifications can be set up when someone enters your driveway, steps on your front porch or any other rules you set up. Quick notifications can cause you to quickly react and resolve it instead of waiting until you get home.
The best way to ensure that your home is protected is by installing a professional, monitored home security system that can notify you and the authorities in case of emergencies. We may like and trust our neighbors, but we can’t expect them to watch our home 24/7 while we are traveling. Contact Select SmartHome today at 844-735-3285 for a home security evaluation and find a security package that works for you.