Summer is the best time to get away with the family for a relaxing and fun vacation. Whether you are visiting a national park or flying across the Atlantic, the last thing you want is to be worried about your house getting broken into while you are away. This week, we found an excellent article from the Oregon Home Improvement Company, Inc. The article lists five practical steps you can take to prevent a break in. These steps, in addition to having a high quality home security system, are the best ways to keep your home safe while you are away.
Oregon Home Improvement Company, Inc., or OHI, was founded in 1952. They specialize in the remodelling, renovation, and restoration of homes. Although OHI focuses on repairing houses after fires, they also do water restoration, smoke damage repair, and home remodeling and improvement. OHI has now been through 3 generations of family owners, representing their high level of experience with homes. Here are their suggestions for keeping your home safe while travelling:
1. Turn Off and Unplug Appliances
It is recommended that you unplug your major electronics like TVs, computers, stereos, and also small kitchen appliances like your coffee maker. You can unplug your refrigerator and freezer, but you’ll need to empty and clean them first. Turn out your lights and ceiling fans as well. Not only will you save on your electric bill, you will lower the risk of damage to your belongings in the event of a power surge - or worse, an electrical fire.
2. Hold the Mail
While mail theft is not extremely common in the U.S., it’s better to be safe than sorry. Think about the things you get in the mail: credit card applications, bank statements, insurance records - not to mention all sorts of packages from online shopping. You can protect these things while you are away by visiting your local post office and telling them to hold your mail until you come back.
3. Make Your House Look Lived In
This is one of the most important steps in home security while traveling. Contact the local newspaper and have them hold off on delivery until you are back. A stack of untouched papers on the porch makes your home look vacant. Additionally, keep up on your landscape. Hire someone to mow the lawn while you are gone.
4. Wait On Social Media Until You Get Back
So many people announce their departure on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but don’t realize that burglars have access to social media as well. Even worse, some set an auto-reply on their email saying they are out of town, or change their voice message revealing they are on vacation. These are open invitations to home burglars! Instead, just turn your cell phone off and stay away from your inbox if you don’t want to be bothered. This won’t provide burglars with any information that would provoke them to target your home.
5. Get Someone To House Sit
Whether it be a relative, friend, or neighbor, find someone you can trust and have them keep an eye on your house. This is a great deal, even if you have to pay them for their services, because it could prevent a break-in, and the average cost of a home burglary is over $2,000. Additionally, your house sitter could feed your pets, mow your lawn, and take out your trash.
Of all the lists and articles on keeping your home safe during your travels, we enjoyed this one most. To read the full article on OHI’s website, visit: http://ohico.com/5-tips-that-will-keep-your-home-safe-while-on-vacation/