Protect Your House While You’re on Vacation

Since it’s vacation season, I thought I’d touch on some ways to keep your house safe while you’re away. After all, you work hard to afford your house and the things inside. It only makes sense that you’d want to protect your things while you’re away.

Things to Do Before You Leave

Consider a House Sitter – This is true, especially if you have pets. Rather than packing your dog off to a kennel, why not hire someone to stay at your house while you’re away? Your dog will be comfortable, and you will have someone in your house, making it looked lived in, which will be a deterrent to would-be thieves.

Put your Lights on Timers – If you can’t line up a house sitter, make sure your lights are on timers. Timers are not that expensive, and setting the lights to go on and off will make your home look lived in.

Set up a Motion Detector Light – Making sure the outside of your home is well lit can also discourage thieves. It’s much more difficult to break into a well-lit house than it is to sneak into the window of a dark house. A motion detector light will not waste electricity, but it will light up the outside of your home, if anything or anyone approaches.

Make Plans for Your Mail and Newspaper – Nothing screams “vacant house” more than a mailbox full of mail and a pile of papers in the driveway. It’s best if you can find a trusted neighbor to pick up your mail and paper. If that’s not an option, you can always call the newspaper office to cancel delivery while you’re gone. You can also fill out a form to have the post office hold your mail.

Double Check Your Locks Before You Leave – The morning we leave on vacation, I always do a sweep through the house, making sure all windows and doors are closed and locked up. While I’m at it, I also make sure all appliances are turned off. I wouldn’t want to come home to find my house had burned down.

Have a Neighbor Keep an Eye on Your Home – Let your neighbor know that you’ll be gone for vacation. They can keep an eye out for any suspicious activity. And if you come home to find out that your home has been broken into, they might be able to remember anything odd.

Leave Your Cell Phone Number With Someone – Hopefully, you’ve taken enough precautions that nothing happens while you’re away. But if there is an emergency with your home, make sure someone knows where to get in touch with you.

Did I miss anything? What else do you do before you leave on vacation?

Photo by NatalieMaynor.

10 thoughts on “Protect Your House While You’re on Vacation”

  1. Ask a neighbor or friend to mow your lawn if you are going to be out of town for 2 weeks or longer. A normally manicured lawn that looks abandoned is a sign that nobody is home.

  2. Leave your bathroom light on. It’s the only room where someone could be, any time of the day or night, for any length of time (a couple of minutes or possibly luxurious hours).

  3. when we are travelling overseas, we often leave our itinerary, certified copies of our passport, marriage certificate, birth certificates and insurance information with our parents in case anything happens like the house burned down while we were away etc, we still have those infos.

  4. One more tip: Do not mention on social networking websites that you are out of town and do not say where you are. Dishonest people use those sites also, and could seize the opportunity to break into your home.

  5. If it’s an extended trip, I turn off the water at the meter, after making sure I threw the fuse off for the water heater.

    And clean out the refrig….and empty the garbages… Nothing like coming home to the smell of something rotten…

  6. If you are leaving a car in the driveway it doesn’t hurt to have your neighbor move it once or twice so it looks like it is being driven.

    @brady That is a great tip about your sheriff.

  7. Our local sheriff’s department will check on your house daily for free if you give them a call before you leave town. If you don’t know a house sitter or are new to the area, this can be useful. It also provides you with peace of mind if your house is in a high-crime area.

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