Dalena Properties
Dec 16 2016

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Tags: home security  secure home  home automation  home protection 

Keep Your Home Safe on Vacation Checklist
Before you relax and start your vacation - make sure you have completed our 11 point check.

It's that time of the year again when families start preparing to leave for their much anticipated annual vacation. It's also easy to get caught up in the excitement of the holidays and Christmas season that you may find yourself overlooking a few essential security checks to safeguard your abode and belongings before you leave.

Returning home from a well spent vacation is always a gloomy feeling, so the last thing you want is to find that your place has been visited by unwanted guests!

It is therefore imperative that you and every home owner take the required, basic precautions to protect your home while you are away and to make sure that intruders are not tempted to target your home.

Here are some basic precautions to discourage intruders, as well as some additional measures to make your home more secure.

Tip #1: Lock Up & Secure Everything

This may seem like an obvious step, yet it is surprising to learn that many house burglaries occur because of negligence of the home owner, such as forgetting to close a bathroom window or a door not properly locked. For peace of mind, we suggest doing a triple check on all doors and windows before you leave. Getting caught up in all the rush and excitement, you may find that you have overlooked something. It's better to be safe than sorry - so check, check and check again.

Tip #2: Alert Your Neighbor or a Friend

This tip is as good as having a watch dog patrol your property! If you are on good speaking terms with your neighbor, ask him or her if they would mind keeping an eye on your property while you are away. You can also ask a good friend that you trust to come and occasionally check on your home and water the plants.

Tip #3: Stop the Mail from Piling Up

This is a dead give away signal to intruders that your home is currently unoccupied. Ask your neighbor or friend to collect your mail for you, until you return from your vacation.

Tip #4: Leaving the Lights On Could Be a Mistake

Criminals that target your home are on the lookout for clues that you are away. Anything that appears to be out of the ordinary or out of normal routine is a signal that nobody is home. Leaving the lights on during the evening is a good thing, but leaving the lights on all night is a clue to criminals. Likewise, lights left on during the day are another obvious sign that nobody is at home.

One way to get around this problem is to install a time switch on your internal lights. You can set a timer to turn lights on at various times and alternate them every night. This is a deterrent for criminals, who assume that there is somebody home.

Tip #5: Should You Leave the Curtains Open or Closed?

The decision to leave the curtains open or closed is a debatable one. You don't want your curtains left open during the night, yet having drawn curtains during the day is an obvious sign to intruders that you are not at home. We suggest that you leave your curtains exactly how you would normally leave them. If you use blinds rather than curtains, we suggest leaving them strategically tilted - nether wide open or completely closed. Whether you have blinds or curtains, always make sure that you place your valuable items such as laptops, computers and jewelry out of plain sight.

Tip #6: Safe Guard Your Most Valuable Possessions

You should place your most valuable or sensitive items in a safe. Be sure to lock your jewelry, family heirlooms, laptops, electronic devices, valuable coins, house title deeds and wills in a fire-proof safe that is strategically hidden away.

Tip #7: Remove Your Spare Key

Many people keep a spare key for their home in sometimes very obvious places, such as under a door mat, somewhere on the front porch, under a flower pot or under the car's sun visor. Once you're at the airport, or driving half way across the country, it is too late to turn around because you forgot to the remove the spare house key.

Tip #8: Alert the Neighborhood Watch

For those who are lucky enough to have a neighborhood watch in your area, be sure to notify them that you will be away. These guys do a splendid job of patrolling the neighborhood and are constantly on the look-out and for notifying the police of anything suspicious. They have thus foiled many attempted home break-ins from occurring.

Tip #9: Never GPS Your Home Address

Don't make the mistake of leaving your Home Address saved on your GPS. This could be a costly mistake. If your GPS device was stolen, the thief could figure out where your home is. We suggest that you rather save a location, landmark or shopping center close to your home, instead of making sensitive information available.

Tip #10: Don't Be Too Social!

These days, everybody knows everybody else business, thanks to social networking. Don't be tempted to post your vacation details too quickly on social media like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. People like to share, so you may never know who or how many people see your posts or tweets. It is surprising to learn the sheer increase in the number of home break-ins that have occurred because of tip-offs on social media.

Tip #11: Install a Home Automation Monitoring Device

Home Automation Monitoring Devices are becoming more readily available. These devices or programs are usually run by an application installed on your smart phone or tablet and work in conjunction with your home security system and security cameras.

They offer complete peace of mind, because they enable you to view live video feeds of your home, in real time - no matter where you are in the world. Of course this has to be installed long before you leave on your trip, so it is something to keep in mind for your next vacation, if you do not already have one in place.

Related Article: Home Automation - A Glimpse into the Future

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