How to make your homecoming a thankful one
It’s no secret that the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. You know it. Burglars know it.
Before leaving for turkey day, there are a few steps you can take—beyond checking and rechecking locks—that will give you peace of mind while away and a tremendous feeling of thanks when you return to a home that is exactly as you left it.
1. Tell a friend or neighbor
This is, by far, the easiest first step—letting someone you trust know that you’ll be gone for a few days. Ask them to check on the house, and ask them to do it irregularly so that there is no way anyone watching the house can detect a pattern.
By the way, that key you have hidden shouldn’t be hidden. Pick it up and give it to a friend, neighbor, or the person watching your house.
2. But don’t tell everyone
For better or for worse, we live in a time when everyone shares everything about themselves on social media. Take steps to prevent temptation. Refrain, if you can, from posting pictures of large purchases or even photos of the inside of your house.
Also, don’t share that you will be traveling for the holidays—and no checking in from grandma’s house with family photos. The less that is known about you and your whereabouts, the better off you’ll be.
3. Give the police a heads up
Some local law enforcement agencies have programs specifically for homeowners who are away. If you’re fortunate to live in such a community, alert the appropriate agency with the dates you’ll be traveling, a list of cars that should be in your driveway, and a list of people and their cars that have your permission to be on your property.
While you’re away, police cars will provide increased patrols on your street—just in case.
4. Keep ‘em guessing
While you’re away, it’s important to let the outside world believe you’re home.
Stop any scheduled deliveries, such as newspapers or online purchases. Have a friend or neighbor pick up your mail, or speak with your postal worker about temporarily holding your mail at the post office.
If you’re a two-car family, be sure to leave one in the driveway or invite a neighbor to park an extra car there. Leave lights on, or place several lights throughout the house on timers so that they turn on and off throughout the dark hours. Also, consider leaving a radio or television on just to make noise.
5. Keep it clean
Before traveling, it’s a good idea to tidy up both the interior and exterior of your home. Make sure valuables cannot be seen through windows. If you have a safe, preferable secured to the floor, lock them up.
As for your yard, trim shrubbery so that the neighbor keeping an eye on things can actually do that. Overgrown landscapes provide an opportunity for burglars to operate in secret.
Make sure any yard tools (and even decorative patio objects) are put away or locked in a shed or garage. The last thing you want is for a burglar to use a ladder that was left about as a means of getting into a second floor window.
6. Lighten up
While looking around outside, make sure all entrances are well lit. You may also want to consider motion sensor lights or spotlights.
7. The danger within
Many tips to keep your home safe often focus on someone breaking in, but there is also a danger inside: the risk of fire. Go from room to room and unplug or disconnect any unnecessary appliances and home electronics. Make sure batteries are working in smoke alarms and CO2 detectors.
8. Be smart
As phones have gotten smarter, there are more and more ways to use them, including home security.
Consider investing in surveillance cameras and/or video doorbells that can be linked with your mobile device. Because they operate through your home’s Wi-Fi system, you can either review these devices from a distant location or have them alert you if something is occurring in your home while you’re away. In addition, some of these devices are able to record any activity and save it to an internal hard drive or in the cloud.
There are also several apps, such as Presence, that can be installed on an older smartphone or mobile device to turn it into a security camera.
9. Speaking of phones
That camera in your phone is also excellent for recording a video of the inside and outside of your home. Record your possessions and any identifying information, such as serial and model numbers.
10. Make sure you’re property is properly insured
No one should be afraid to leave their home.
Everyone should be able to leave comfortably. With a full range of insurance products for every aspect of your life, Avante Insurance can help you. For your insurance needs turn to us.