How to Keep Your House Secure While You’re Away
Traveling on vacation can be a fun time to relax and make memories with your friends and family. The last thing you want to be worrying about when you’re away is if your home is safe from theft, vandalism, and severe weather.
Follow these steps to secure your home and property while you are traveling.
Install a home security alarm system.
If your house doesn’t have one already, consider installing a home security alarm system so your home and property are monitored day and night. This is essential–especially when you’re not home for an extended period of time. Companies have security teams monitoring your alarms 24/7. Some systems even let you see your home through an app on your phone. Make sure you advertise your home security with a sign and stickers on your windows and doors. Don’t currently have a working security system? Just posting a sign can be enough of a deterrent for potential burglars and vandals.
Conduct regular home maintenance.
Hire someone to cut your lawn, water your plants, and clean your pool for the time you’re away. The moment the exterior of a home is not kept up is a sign to thieves that you’re probably not home. Also, maintaining your landscaping schedule. Be sure to include cleaning out gutters, shoveling snow from your driveway, and raking up leaves to help prevent water damage while you’re away.
Protect your pipes from freezing weather.
Make sure your pipes are properly insulated prior to leaving for vacation. Pipes that run through uninsulated areas of your home, like in the sub-floor, garage, or attic, are more susceptible to freezing temperatures. When stagnant water is in a pipe and temperatures drop, the water can freeze, causing the pipe to expand and burst. This can result in water damage and possible structural damage and mold growth. Make sure to turn off the main water shut off valve as necessary, leave cabinets with exposed pipes open so they can benefit from the internal temperature of your home, and consider adding insulation around the vulnerable pipes.
Make a spare key and give it to a neighbor or friend.
It’s always a good idea to give a spare house key to a trusted friend or neighbor. This way, if they smell gas, see smoke, or suspect anything may be wrong, they have a way in. It would also benefit you if they can go into your home to check on it. (And if you’re lucky, they may even water your plants!) By having people in your home on a regular basis will give the illusion that people are still at home. Even though you’re leaving a key with a friend, don’t leave a hide-a-key. Hide-a-keys, although convenient for your friends, are also convenient for burglars and an easy way for them to go in and out undetected.
Put mail on hold.
Nothing says “no one’s home” like an overflowing mailbox or newspapers piled up at the end of the driveway. Place all of your mail and newspaper subscriptions on hold until you get back.
What’s the thermostat set to?
In the winter, you want to make sure your thermostat is set to heat your home. Do not turn it off! Even though you won’t be in the house, you will need to set the thermostat to heat starting at 55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent burst pipes and other common causes of water damage.
Reduce social media posting.
After going through all the trouble of making it look like people are home, posting too much information to social media can undo all of that work and precaution. It’s a common mistake to post too much information on social media, telling people when you’re gone, where you’re going, and for how long. Potential criminals will then know exactly how long they have to break into your home. Try to limit your posting, keep your accounts private, or wait to post pics of your vacation until you get back: #latergram.
Use a locked safe for valuables.
In the same way you keep valuables and documents safe from water or fire damage while you’re home, keep them safe while you’re away. Make sure to use a safety deposit box or a locked home safe to keep all of your most important possessions safe from any natural disasters or vandalism that may occur while you’re gone. If you choose to use a home safe, have a heavy one installed in a secure or hidden location in your house. This prevents burglars from picking it up and walking away (like some of the smaller safe models).
Install an outdoor motion sensor light.
If you don’t already have it, install outdoor lighting that turns on from any kind of motion. This simple addition to your home makes people feel vulnerable, like more people can see them. Potential criminals tend to stay away or reconsider their plans. These lights also alert neighbors that something or someone is on your property, and they can check it out and see more clearly.
Disconnect garage door sensors.
More experienced and tech-savvy criminals can easily hack into a garage door’s sensor system. This allows them to open your garage without showing signs of an actual break in. By disconnecting the garage door’s sensors, you are prohibiting them from using technology to open your doors. For extra protection, disconnect the garage door chain, and lock the doors. Don’t forget to also lock all of your windows, as well as the front, back, and side doors.
Has Your Home Had Water Damage While You Were Away on Vacation?
Call Riverside Restoration so we can mitigate the water damage and dry out your home as quickly as possible. Our certified team of experts are available 24/7 to assess damages and provide solutions to getting your home fixed quickly. We can even help you ready your home for the colder months to prevent future damage!
At Riverside Restoration, we proudly service the Westport, Weston, Greenwich, Cos Cob, Darien, Southport, New Canaan, Fairfield, Old Greenwich, Riverside, Wilton, CT and surrounding areas with their flood remediation and water damage restoration needs. We will handle all aspects of your restoration from extraction and drying to the rebuilding and remodeling.