A Checklist for Securing Your Home on Your Holiday Vacation
Not all of us stay home for the holidays, because sometimes family vacation is the best kind of present. So, when we take that holiday vacation we always dreamed of we want to make it count: a far-off place for a nice, long, relaxing trip.
But leaving your home unattended for more than a few days can be paralyzing. Who will look after your things? What if you come home to a broken door and half your possessions stolen?
Don’t let security anxiety keep you from enjoying your holiday vacation. Follow this checklist to put your mind at ease, protect your home, and guarantee that you can enjoy your vacation.
Keep Quiet About Your Vacation
First things first: don’t advertise the fact that you're out of town for an extended period of time. Sure, you can let the people close to you know about your plans but try to avoid making it public knowledge to others outside your immediate circle.
Don’t announce your travel over social media and try to resist posting extensive travel photos on social media profiles with public access. Share information through private channels like SMS or private media accounts.
The issue here is that social media is rarely as private as we think it is, and if you continually make it clear that you aren’t going to be home, someone might take that as an invitation to try their luck.
Include the Neighbors
While your absence doesn’t need public awareness, it also doesn’t need to be a top-secret affair. When you are planning on leaving, let your immediate neighbors know. That way, those neighbors are aware of your trip, and can keep an eye out for any strange happenings on your property.
It helps if you know, and have friendly relationships, with your neighbors--friendly neighbors might treat your property like their own, which adds just another layer of security. However, even if you and your neighbors are more casual acquaintances, spreading the word that you won’t be home will keep people alert in case something unexpected occurs (like noises, unexpected visitors or figures).
Hire A Trusted House or Pet Sitter
If you have a pet that needs tending, then hire a professional pet sitter. Reputable sitters are typically easy to find through local agencies with websites, marketing, and local reviews. Having a sitter visit even once or twice daily can help discourage potential intruders, and it will also provide you with some eyes on the ground in case something bad happens.
If you don’t have a pet, then hire a house sitter. There are typically agencies that will offer house sitting services (or even house/pet sitting packages). You might not even have to go that far, thought: reach out to family and see if there is a family member or close friend that you trust. You can invite them to stay for the time you are gone (which is a great idea if you are gone for an extended period of time).
Stop Your Mail
Nothing says “I’m empty, rob me” like a house with a pile of mail in the mailbox or on the porch. Call your local post office (or visit them in person) and have your mail temporarily held for the dates you plan on being gone. Sine you’re gone, you won’t miss anything you wouldn’t have anyway, and your mail will be available when you get back. But you’ll have the peace of mind to know that you aren't telling the world that your house is unoccupied.
Install a Digital Security System
If you feel a little more vulnerable, then consider getting a digital security system, including wireless cameras and a DVR or NVR storage drive to collect footage. Digital cameras can run in loops and store digital video data for several hours or even days at a time. That's not to mention that many cameras now have the option to stream video to a secure website or app, so you can check it remotely.
If you are feeling DIY you can buy equipment online or at your local electronics store and install your system yourself. For reliability and integration, we suggest going with a professional company that can do the install. In many cases, you can get a solution that includes remote access, so you can watch footage and live feeds directly from your home.
If you also go with an advanced detector and alarm system, you can also provide access to trusted parties (sitters, neighbors) and check logs of who accessed your home and when.
Use a Smart Security System
Smart security systems provide users with advanced controls so that they can set things light door locks, light timers, and sensor activation times. If you are already considering a digital security system, then also consider getting an advanced network that allows you access 24/7 from anywhere you are (either through a web browser or a smartphone app).
With these kind of smart system, you can set your lights to turn off and on so that your home appears occupied. You can also check alarms and sensors to determine who accessed your home, and when. You can then tie this all in with a digital camera system for maximum protection.
Rest Easy This Holiday Vacation
Holiday’s should be about fun, relaxation, and escape. If you are always thinking about your home and its safety, then you aren’t really enjoying what should be a wonderful time with your family.
So, take the extra steps. Use sitters and neighbors to keep an eye out, prepare things so as to keep your vacation on the hush-hush, and invest in a home security system that is available right at your fingertips.