Home Security Tips While Away for the Holidays
It’s that time of year when many of us take off to visit friends and family and celebrate the holidays. Unfortunately, many burglars know that people are traveling and away during this time, making it the perfect season for break-ins. If you’re planning on taking a vacation or just spending a few days away from home, there is a lot that you can do to make sure your house is protected while you are away.
Below are six home security tips that can help you be prepared for spending time away this Holiday season.
1) Disconnect Appliances: It’s better to be safe than sorry, so making sure that you unplug and disconnect all of you appliances will give you peace of mind that nothing will spark while you’re away. All appliances can be disconnected, but some are easier than others. Depending on how long you will be away and the age and condition of the appliances, you will want to disconnect as many as possible. This includes the TV, Stereo, Toaster, Microwave, etc.
2) Lower The Heat, But Not Too Much: If you’re going to be away for a few days, you can adjust your heating to be lower than if you were home. (If there will be pets left in the house, you need to leave the heat at a reasonable temperature.) Since the weather is cold for most of us around the holidays, you will want to ensure that you keep the thermostat at a level that is reasonable and will not cause pipes to freeze, so keep the heat on around 55-60 degrees to prevent any issues while you are away.
3) Lights On Timers: Bring an element of human presence to your home by using timers to have your lights turn on and off at normal times. This will prevent burglars from seeing the house dark for a few days in a row, a clear sign that no one is home. These timed lights should be used in the main living areas and turn on and off at different times to simulate your normal patterns.
4) Don’t Announce Your Vacation: Today there are many outlets where we share the details of our life, especially on social media. While it’s tempting to brag a bit about your wonderful vacation and the relaxing time you’re spending away from home, you want to minimize these types of posts. Saying “I’m away on vacation” is simply an announcement to others that your home is going to be empty for a period of time. In addition, if you have a home phone with answering machine, don’t leave a message saying “We’re out skiing for the holidays, sorry we missed your call” as this too provides too much information to someone who may be looking to break into your home.
5) Secure Valuables: Before you leave, make sure that all of your valuables are locked away in a safe. This step is important because if someone does enter your home, you are removing the items that they are searching for and protecting your most precious items. Another valuable that should be secured is your computer. Make sure that you are logged out of all of your accounts, that no papers with your passwords are near the computer and shut the computer off. If there are any files near your computer that have personal information, like bank account numbers, make sure to store them in the safe or shred them prior to leaving. This can protect you from possible identity theft if a break-in does occur.
6) Set the Alarm and Lock Up: Strengthen the security of your home by installing heavy duty locks, solid core doors, and using longer screws in the lock strike plates and door hinges. You may also want to install secondary security devices on all of your sliding windows and doors. High security locks and window locks are services that can be provided to you by Interstate Locksmith through our Residential Locksmith services.
All of these tips can help you have peace of mind knowing that you are protecting your most valuable assets while you’re away from home. While you may be tempted to let a neighbor know that you’re going to be gone, that too can be a red flag, especially if you don’t know your neighbors well.
Instead, you should notify the police. By informing your local police department of your plans, they can add your home to their vacation watch list, further increasing the level of security of your home during the holiday season.