Your Spare Key Is Easier To Find Than You Think
You’ve got the car and bags packed, accommodation booked and you’ve boarded the pets. You’re almost done…
Don't let the anticipation of a well-deserved vacation blind you to the risks of leaving your home unprotected. Take precautions before you leave and review your home safety checklist before you head out.
A little extra vigilance will help keep your property and belongings safer while you're gone -- and will keep you from obsessing about security once you're on the road to fun and adventure.
Here are some tips:
1. Ask a Friend to Help
My neighbours and I always let each other know when we’re away so we can keep an eye out. If you’re using a friend, ask them to drive by maybe a couple of times a week if possible. Consider a house-sitter if you’re happy to let someone into your house. Make sure your letterbox is cleared and bins aren’t left out on the street. Leave your contact numbers with this person also.
2. Don't Tip Off Criminals on the Web
We all love posting pics of our vacation on social media but you may also be alerting thieves that you’re not home. Change your facebook settings so only trusted people can see you posts.
Be careful what you say on your answering machine or voice mail too. Callers don't need to know that you're not home -- they just need to know that you can't come to the phone right now.
3. Curtains Closed -- or Open?
Before you leave for your holiday, you may decide to close your curtains to prevent people from peering inside your home to see whether you're there. However leaving your curtains exactly as you usually keep them when you're home doesn’t indicate a change. I like to leave a light on as well somewhere central in the house with a timer and sometimes a radio on talkback so there are voices in the house.
4. Pull the Plug
Unplug your television, computer, toaster oven and other appliances to protect them from power surges. This will help you save power as well; many appliances draw energy even when they're turned off.
5. Remove Your Spare Key
That plastic rock isn't fooling anyone. If a criminal figures out you're away, it's likely that he or she will check for a spare key. So reach under the mat, into the mailbox, above the door frame or into the flower pot and remove your spare key before you leave on your holiday.