keeping-your-home-safe-locking-doorYou've done it. You're living the good life in an Ontario home of your own. Since you've worked hard to obtain a house, you deserve a well-planned vacation. Planning your time away means choosing a vacation spot, getting time off approval from your employer, and just leaving. Let's see how to make sure that you don't come home to unexpected and unpleasant circumstances. In other words, protect your investment and your state of mind by following some simple tips about safeguarding your home while you're away.

Sharing is Caring, But Use Caution

It's natural to want to share your plans with your friends via social media, but let's think a moment. The internet is casual and all-revealing. Unless your filters eliminate nearly everyone, unfriendly eyes could read your departure and return dates and plan their crime accordingly.

Take some time to consider your entries prior to actually leaving, or even space some generic entries while you're away to keep up appearances that you've not left. For example, Facebook allows you to schedule posts between ten minutes and six months from when you originate them, and this simple action will set your mind at ease while you're off having fun.

Answering machine and voice mail messages ought to be discreet, too. Sharing your plans is wise, however you should only do so with trusted friends, your insurance agent, neighbourhood watch officials, security system providers, and the police if the vacation is lengthy.

Practice Drive-By Discouragement

Moving along to some common sense rules, let's factor in what time of year your vacation begins. If you're set for summer enjoyment, you've already thought of placing a few interior lights on a timer to give the appearance of habitation.

If your home is multi-storied, have upstairs lights regulated, too. Make sure that the time of darkness and dawn coincides with your settings, or your home will appear unnaturally lighted, which may cue observers to your absence. Likewise, in a wintertime excursion, the early evenings and later mornings need appropriate settings.

Look Like You’re Home

Outside appearances are key to protection during vacations. By offering to reciprocate the favour, you can ask a trusted neighbour to gather your mail and put it inside your home. 

While they are inside, they can check on any pets that aren't in professional care, water plants, adjust the drapes, and walk through for a general look around. A good neighbour may park their car in your driveway on a regular basis, and if you don't have a scheduled landscaping service, then they could also cut the grass.

Look for Trouble Spots

In general, the kitchen contains many areas to secure. Toss aging refrigerator items away before you leave, empty the garbage, and grind citrus peels or a cup of vinegar into the garbage disposal to stem odours. If you unplug the coffee maker, clocks, and other appliances, not only will you save on the power bill, but you'll stave off possible electricity shorts.

Speaking of electricity, if you have a home alarm system you’ll need to consult a checklist before leaving. According to leading security companies, a common and unexpected source of entry is the man-door into the garage, if you have one. Once inside the garage, the intruder has leisure and protection from view by breaking in via the garage-to-interior door. A checklist methodically eliminates all weak spots that you may forget to secure in the excitement of leaving.

Last Minute Preparations

You're nearly out the door. A few last considerations remain, such as unplugging the garage door opener to foil those with universal openers.

  • If you're taking a taxi to the airport, a good way to leave your home with a clear mind is to meet the taxi at a nearby corner rather than at the house.
  • A friend may be able to help out by driving you to the airport, in return for future favours or some cash for gas.
  • Double check your checklist, lock the doors, and you are on your way with no cares.

It's time to lean back and relax as you go off on holiday. Allow everyday life to drift away because travel is both fun and fulfilling, which is a rare combination. You’ll have peace of mind knowing you have kept on top of your obligations to protect your home while you’re away.

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Posted by Chris Penny on


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