The winter months are a great time for a trip away from home, whether you are getting into the colder weather or getting away from it this dark, often cloudy, days call for time away from home. But when you leave your home you might find yourself vulnerable to break-ins. There are a few things you can do to help mitigate that risk as well as to ease your concerns and let you really enjoy your trip.
A house-sitter is the obvious top solution; having someone you trust look after your home while you are gone is nearly as good as your being there. But if that isn’t something you can arrange there are other options.
Here’s a quick list:
- Install lights at all entry points, and consider motion lights in backyard areas where criminals could hide.
- Maintain the exterior of your home and yard. Clutter and rundown areas attract the unsavory sort.
- Don’t hide house keys in mailboxes, planters, or under doormats. A spare key can be left with a trustworthy friend, neighbour or family member.
- If you lose the keys to your home or move into a new home, change the locks immediately.
- Make your home appear occupied when going away. Ask a trusted neighbour, friend, or family member to park a vehicle in your driveway, or to pick up your mail and newspapers.
- Leave lights on in different areas of the home when away.
- Leave a TV or radio on.
- Consider investing in an alarm system. The majority of burglars avoid homes with alarms. Even alarm stickers can be effective as a deterrent.
- Ask a close friend or family member to check up on your property while you’re gone.
Any or all of these will decrease the chances of your home being broken into by a random burglar; that is unless they know you aren’t home. How would they know? Possibly, because you told them! One of the biggest mistakes people can make when they go on vacation is to post about it on social media. Criminals can keep tabs on city pages, community pages, even neighbourhood watch pages, and also certain hashtags. Many people have their location listed as part of their social media, or post in neighbourhood specific groups that are open to the public, and like to let others know that they will be out of town – often thinking it is helping ensure their safety. But the good ones aren’t the only people looking at these pages. It is recommended to not post your pictures of your vacation, or about going on vacation, until you are back.
Hopefully you never have to deal with a break in, and that these tips help you relax on your next trip feeling worry free about your home while you are away.