Summer vacation season is in full swing! For those of us in the Atlanta area, we may be scrambling to fit in a last- minute trip before the kids start school in just a few weeks.
Whether you're planning to take an out-of-town trip for a couple of days or for a week (or more!), ensuring your home stays safe while you're away is likely one of your top priorities. Some people may turn to high tech solutions for home safety and security. And while that is certainly a good option, there are many other effective ways (of the low-tech type!) that are tried and true -- and they don't require remote accessibility via smart phone.
Here are six ways to keep your home safe while you're on vacation:
1) Put a hold on the mail. You can do easily this easily online through the USPS. Mail piling up in the mailbox (or packages lingering at the door) is a dead giveaway that nobody’s home. It’s also an easy and convenient and one less thing that a neighbor or family member doesn’t have to worry about (or forget). If you get home delivery of a newspaper (or any other regular deliveries) make sure to request a hold for them, too.
2) Keep potential intruders guessing. If the lights are on, it can help deter possible intruders by letting them think that someone is home. Simple timers on lights in the front room(s) of your home make it appear that you’re there. Don’t just leave lights on (although it’s better than leaving the house dark). Timing them so they come on for the evening hours looks more natural. As well, having a car sitting in the driveway at various times gives the appearance of normal activity, so ask a friend or close neighbor if he or she can park their car occasionally.
3) Keep the lawn looking tidy. On an extended vacation, you’ll want to have the lawn cared for. This includes regular mowing and watering. If you don't have a regular lawn service, you consider asking friends or neighbors with kids who are looking for a way to make some extra money.
4) Let your immediate neighbors know your travel plans. Tell them when you’re leaving, and when you expect to be back. Share phone numbers so you can check in and vice versa. A watchful neighbor is one of the best security systems around!
5) Be wary of posting your plans on social media. Anything posted as ‘public’ on social media is seen by a lot of people! If you want to post pictures, check your security settings to assure only friends and family are seeing them. Or, even better, wait until you're back home to post the pictures.
6) Don’t hide keys in obvious place. Believe it or not, burglars know about those fake rocks that many of us think are safe places to hide keys. They’ll check under the mat, in the mailbox, under planters, and so on. To be on the safe, give an extra key to a trusted neighbor. That way, someone is able to check on your home in case of an emergency. As well, if you need a key when you return, it will be in a safe place.Vacation time is exciting and fun for the family. Taking a few simple precautions up front means you can enjoy your trip worry-free and feel confident that your home will be safe while you're away.