With the holiday season now here, there are countless things that are probably on your to-do list—especially if you are going out of town to visit family and friends. This is a time where people travel all over the globe to get together to share what matters most to them, celebrating merriment, joy and love to all those they hold dear.
But before you even start packing, there are a few things around the house that you should know and prepare for before you embark on your travels. It’s crucial to do all you can to ensure your home is safe in your absence. This time of year sees a heightened rate of home invasions and burglaries—something you can reduce the chances of with a few simple precautions.
Here’s what you can do to better protect your home while you are away:
- Don’t share too much on social media
We all use social media to share our daily status updates—both good and bad things that happen to us each day. So it’s no surprise that platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. are all great ways to stay connected with family and friends. But if you think about it, how many people are on our friends list that we don’t know—or perhaps you’ve only met once or twice? And depending on your privacy settings, more people are able to access your information that you’ve never even seen or met. Social media puts us at certain risks, depending on what information is shared.
When you go out of town, however excited you may be, it’s a good idea to refrain from posting anything about being out of town. If you were to do such a post, it essentially broadcasts that your home is vacant—leaving everything inside vulnerable to potential burglaries. If you do want to share your trip with everyone, it’s safe to do so once you’ve returned. Just use an air of caution.
- Fasten windows and doors
In the excitement and commotion of leaving the house, it’s easy to forget to lock a door or window. However hurried you may be, you must be sure to lock everything up before you go. Locking each entryway is the first line of defense in protecting your home from burglars. These entryways are the first areas they’ll try to access and enter. If you think this step is something you’re afraid you’ll accidently forget to do, try making a to-do list and add this to it. It takes no time at all and can make a huge difference. If you also have a garage that you use, you’ll also want to make sure you watch it go down and close before you pull out of the driveway.
- Use smart home automation features to manage lights and thermostats
Smart home features, such as the ones provided by ADT Pulse enables you to have remote access to the inner workings of your home. Anytime you are away, you can manage what lights are turned on or off to give the appearance that someone is home. Things like remote thermostat control can also help you regulate your home’s temperature with the press of a button, enabling you to save money on your energy bill anywhere you are. And if you’ve forgotten to turn off an appliance, you can also remotely shut them off, giving you peace of mind while you are out of town. Having smart home functions simply make leaving your home a much easier process since you can remotely control everything via an app on your smartphone or tablet.
- Temporarily cancel all mail and newspaper deliveries
And finally, the last thing you want is for your mail and newspapers to pile up while you are away. It’s a sure way of letting everyone know that you are out of town. You can go online and temporarily hold your mail and newspaper deliveries on the dates you’ll be gone. They can be easily resumed once you’ve returned. If you don’t want to do this, another option to have someone you trust come and collect your mail and newspapers everyday if you don’t want to mess with your delivery services.
Be safe this holiday season and enjoy everything it has to offer. These simple tips will help keep your home safe while you travel!