There are so many things to think of when getting ready to go on a trip – packing, catching up on bills, making and checking on reservations, etc. One thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is taking steps to be sure that your home will be safe while you’re away. This is always important, but especially so when you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time.
Before you go, do a complete check of your house to make sure that everything is locked up. Check all of the window latches and, if you find that one is broken, either fix it or wedge a bar in the frame to prevent the window from opening. Be sure and insert a bar in any sliding glass doors tracks as well. Naturally, you will want to lock all of the doors to the house, including engaging any deadbolt locks. Don’t forget to lock the garage doors and any other entrance door to the garage as well. This prevents a would-be burglar from hiding from view while working on bypassing the door locks.
Arrange for Supervision
Having a house-sitter the entire time you’re gone would be an ideal situation. That way, it would be obvious to anyone watching the residence that someone is at home. Your house-sitter could make a point of turning lights off and on and opening and closing curtains. Of course, their comings and goings would be an obvious indication that the house is not empty. If you can’t find someone to stay the entire time, even having someone check on the house daily will make a difference. There are professional house-sitters available in the Seattle area that offer reasonable rates, or you could ask a friend or family member.
Use Timers on Electrical Appliances
In the absence of a human house-sitter, using timers on your lights and sprinklers will give the appearance that someone is at home. Set the lights to come on at a certain time in the evening and choose an automatic sprinkler schedule, if you don’t already have one in place. If you want to go all out, use separate timers to vary the lights that are used and the duration they are activated.
Be Cautious About Social Media
Many of us are in the habit of posting details about our schedules to a social media application – whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or some other platform. Just be careful when you’re going out of town. It’s much better to post photos after the trip than to talk about it ahead of time. You never know who’s going to end up seeing the information that you’ll be away with your home left unguarded.
Alert Your Neighbors
One way to give your home extra protection when you’re out of town is to let your neighbors know that you won’t be there. There have been instances in Seattle of neighbors who stood by as a home was being robbed because they weren’t aware that no one was supposed to be at home. Choose a trusted neighbor to collect your mail and store it for you because an overflowing mailbox is a sure sign that you are away. You can always do the same for them when they go on a trip.
Expect the Unexpected
If you follow these tips, the chances that your home will remain safe and untouched while you’re away will be greatly increased. Taking extra steps to barricade vulnerable areas like windows and sliding doors, asking someone to look in on your place or stay there, and using timers to turn the lights on and off are helpful tools to safeguard your home. Enlist your neighbors’ help in watching out for anything out of the ordinary, and remember not to advertise too widely that you will be out of town. These are all common sense tips that will give you peace of mind while you’re away from home.