Keeping your home safe while you’re away

Vacations are all about kicking back, relaxing, and getting away from the hassles of daily life. But it can be hard to fully let yourself sink into vacation mode if you’re worried about how safe your home is while you’re away. If you’re fretting over whether your doors are locked, if you closed your blinds, or if people will be able to tell you’re away, you might wish you had never left home. Below are several precautions you can take before leaving to put your mind at ease.

Don’t announce your trip. Keep a low profile on social media when you take your vacation. Avoid letting the public know when and for how long you will be gone. While it’s always tempting to share your excitement about visiting a new place, it isn’t a wise idea. Rather than announcing your travel plans on Facebook, tell a few family members or close friends that you’ll be away and send them your itinerary so they know how to reach you if something happens.

Stop your mail and newspaper. Even while you’re away, the mail doesn’t stop unless you tell it to. An overflowing mailbox or a pile of newspapers at your doorstep is a dead giveaway that nobody is home and that no one is watching your apartment. There’s no reason to take this chance when you can easily stop the flow of mail. Put it on hold via the United States Postal Service website, or at your local post office. Get in touch with the newspaper you subscribe to and put a temporary stop to your delivery service.

Find a house sitter. To help ease your mind that your apartment is secured while you’re away, choose a friend or family member to check on your place periodically, or even stay at your place until you return. If scheduling or location isn’t conducive to this, you can always tell a trusted neighbor that you’re going away and ask them to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity while you’re gone.

Make it look like someone’s there. Timed lights help your home look occupied even when it is not. Light timers are inexpensive and can be found at any home improvement store. Keeping your curtains and blinds open as they would be when you’re around helps it look like someone is home as well.

Unplug. Televisions, computers, and other highly valuable electronics should be unplugged before you leave for your trip. This is to help protect your devices from potential power surges or outlet malfunctions, which can cause permanent damage.

Lock it up. This one should go without saying. Make sure your windows and doors are locked. Any faulty or broken locks should be fixed before you leave. Make sure the house sitter has the proper keys to get in, but otherwise take care to ensure there are no easy paths to access your space.

Keep Your Home Safe on Vacation: 9 Essential Tips [Independent Traveler]

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe While on Vacation [HowStuffWorks]

Keeping Your Home Safe While You’re Away [Missouri Department of Public Safety Capitol Police]