Many of you will be heading out for the holidays or going south or west as a snowbird during the cold weather months.
You should take a little precaution to protect your home during your absence. Here are a few tips to help deter burglars and make your home look occupied:
- Install motion detector lights in some less visible areas of your house or yard.
- Ask someone to look after your yard and to dispose of flyers and newspapers.
- Have a neighbor park his or her car in your driveway off and on to give the impression your house is occupied.
- Put some timers on your interior lights so that they go off and on. Houses that are dark or appear to always have lights on draw unwanted attention.
- Have your mail held or forwarded to your new location. Ask a trusted friend or family member to pick it up if you are going to be gone for a shorter time period.
You also should make certain your house is maintained while you are away. For example:
- Ask a friend or family member to visit your home regularly and do some jobs such as watering plants.
- The day of departure set the heating or cooling system to economy mode and activate the light timers.
- Turn down your water heater temperature or turn it off, if you are going to be away for an extended period.
- Turn off water supply to washing machine and dishwasher.
- Make certain all of your doors are locked.
- If you are away during the winter open kitchen cabinet doors that are under the sink and in your bathrooms, especially if the waterlines are near an outside wall.
- Make sure all trash cans are empty and the garbage disposal has been run and is clear.
Here are some other tips that will make your trip a little easier:
- Make sure licenses, passports and other personal documents don’t expire while you are gone. You may want to make photocopies and place in a safe place in case you lose the originals on your trip.
- Make sure you have enough money in your account if your bills are automatically deducted or make arrangements to pay your bills online.
- Make sure family members have your itinerary, length of your stay, along with contact numbers.
- Make sure prescriptions are up to date or you have enough to last through your trip.
Have a relaxing time and safe travels.