The holiday season is upon us and so is the chance to travel and reconnect with family and friends. Maybe you are going to visit family out of town and will be gone for a week or maybe you are headed over to a friend’s house for a holiday party. No matter the reason you are leaving your home and no matter how long you are gone, you will want to come back and find it in the same condition in which you left it.
With these simple tips you can reduce the chance of a burglar entering your home and maybe even reduce the risk of fire or other unfortunate events.
- Turn off your water. If you’re leaving for a significant amount of time. Turn off your water! I had a family member who left for an overnight trip and came home to a water line break that flooded his entire basement. He had to endure weeks away from his home while the restoration company cleaned up that mess!
- Unplug any unnecessary appliances. Of course not the refrigerator! You wouldn’t want to come home to a fridge full of rotten food. But maybe clocks or cell phone chargers that are left behind. If any of these have an unseen short or fray they could be a fire hazard. Plus unplugging them while you’re away will save you on your electrical bill. Double check curling irons and the oven to make sure they are off and never, ever, ever leave a space heater on unattended even if you are at home.
- Use timers on lights. Having your lights come on in the evening hours when it is dark may deter a burglar from entering your home. Simple timers that you can plug lamps into are an easy and cost effective way to help protect your home. They can be purchased at any home improvement store.
- Put a hold on your mail. If you are going to be gone for an extended amount of time call the post office and have them keep your mail for you or have trusted neighbor pick it up. Mail left in mailboxes can be a red flag for burglars that you are away.
Not one of the ideas listed is new information to any of us. But hopefully it will serve as a reminder to be proactive in keeping our homes safe, not just during the holidays but always.