When you are preparing for an exciting vacation, consider these tips to keep your home safe and secure while you are gone . . .
Use extra caution when communicating about your upcoming vacation on social media, such as Facebook. Information can spread easily and you don’t want the wrong people to discover when your home is going to be empty.
Never post dates, state when you are leaving, returning, or how long you will be away.
Do not post any photos on social media of your vacation while you are on your vacation. It is smarter to wait until you have returned home before posting photos.
If you want to share photos with friends and loved ones safely while you are on your vacation–send them through private texts or emails. (You might want to ask them not to post any of your photos on their social media until you are home).
KEEPING UP APPEARANCES
Making your home appear as though someone is home is one of the most effective ways to deter unwanted attention.
However, it is not recommended to leave lights on the entire time you are away as this can be a light beacon revealing clearly that no one is actually home.
Use timers on lights located in a couple different rooms in your home. Schedule them to turn on and off at various times after dark.
You can find effective and reasonably priced timers in stores like Walmart or Canadian Tire. Here is an example of a 2-pack at Walmart for just $24.99 CA.
Don’t forget your front and back exterior security/porch lights – they should come on at night and go off before sunrise.
Close all blinds/curtains on ground level windows and doors where it is easy for someone to see inside.
Be aware that closing all of your upstairs curtains/blinds up tight for days on end can also be a clear give-away that you are away for an extended period.
Leave your upper level(s) blinds/curtains the same as you usually have them when you are home, or leave some window coverings partially open (especially in the rooms where you have lights on timers, so that the light can be seen through the windows a bit).
Hide Items Of Value
Put valuables away and out of sight – do not leave anything tempting out in the open including laptops, jars of change, medications, jewellery, etc.
If you are going to be gone for more than a week, arrange to have someone mow your lawn.
It’s a good idea to let your neighbour know if someone is going to be coming by to get out your lawnmower to mow your lawn while you are away.
Packing Up To Go
When packing up your vehicle try be inconspicuous.
If possible, pull your car into your garage in order to pack your car privately.
Alternatively, if you do not have a garage, pull your car as close to your door as possible in order to load luggage & other items into your vehicle as quickly and quietly as you can.
Tell at least one trusted neighbour of your travel plans and dates and ask them if they would kindly keep a look out while you are away.
Mail &/or Newspapers
Ask someone if they would collect any mail or newspapers for you so that they don’t pile up.
Leave your spare house key only with a trusted neighbour, friend, or family member.
BE AWARE: If a criminal does suspect that you are on vacation, the FIRST thing they will do is look for a spare hidden key under a fake rock, plant pot, the mat, in the mailbox, above the door frame, etc. Don’t leave a spare key anywhere. Period. Bad Idea.
BE SURE to let your alarm company know when you will be away and provide them with the phone number for your emergency contact (the person with your spare house key & alarm code & password).
To prevent any misunderstandings, write down your alarm access code/password yourself with clear directions on how to turn it off/on, and give this to the person you have entrusted your spare house key.
Give your neighbour your phone number as well as the emergency contact number of the person you have trusted with your spare house key. This will ensure you have all the dots connected in case of emergency at home.
If you have a pet sitter coming to your house, you might want to let the neighbour know this as well so they don’t call the police.
If you have a driveway/carport that will be empty while you are away, ask a neighbour if they would consider parking their vehicle in your spot once in a while, so that it looks like someone is home or visiting.
Unplug small appliances such as coffeemaker, toaster, microwave, computers/laptops, gaming system, television, etc. (Be sure to leave your refrigerator & freezer plugged in of course)
To avoid potential water damage from an unpredictable leak or burst pipe/hose, consider shutting off the water supply lines to toilets, faucets, washing machine, dishwasher, and ice makers.
Adjust your water heater to its lowest temperature setting. No point in paying to have it maintain hot water temperatures when you’re not using it.
Turn down your furnace while you are away (or turn if off it’s summer silly!)…unless it’s winter and you have left your beloved pet at home.
Lock your garage, exterior gates, and storage structures.
Lock any doors inside the garage that lead into the house.
NOW YOUR READY!
A little time spent planning & preparing everything at home before you go away, will give your mind a vacation too!
If you are seeking an experienced Realtor® to go to work for you in Langley, Surrey and surrounding area’s in BC, give me a call!