The holidays are a wonderful time of year and we all love spending time with friends and family. But being away from home has it’s risks. Here are a few tips to keep your home safe during the holidays.
Nothing is better than having a friend or neighbor check in on the house for you. Be sure to ask them to bring in the mail, shovel the walkway and bring in any packages. If you have pets, consider paying a pet-sitter to stay at the house during your absence. Make sure whoever is helping you out has a copy of your itinerary and emergency contact information in case something comes up. And if you know of a neighbor who is leaving town, offer to check on things for them while they are away.
Be cautious on social media.
The holidays provide countless opportunities to share updates, photos and stories with your social media followers. Unfortunately, your friends and family aren’t the only ones with Facebook and Instagram profiles. Burglars are using social media to find potential targets, so save the sharing for after you return home from your trip.
Keep the lights on.
Electronic timers are a cheap, but effective deterrent to thieves. Leaving a few lights on while you’re away to make it look like someone is home is usually a good idea, and having them turn on and off according to a programmed schedule is even better. It’s also a good idea to unplug any other appliances that won’t be in use while you’re gone to reduce the risk of any accidental fires due to faulty wiring or overheating bulbs.
Beware of freezing pipes.
We live in a cold climate, so enlist the help of that neighbor we discussed above to turn on the faucets periodically while you are away. If the water comes out in a trickle or not at all, have them call you immediately to have a plumber take a look. If you are going to leave your home vacant for months at a time, invest in “winterizing” the home. This will alleviate the headache of having a pipe freeze while you’re away – or even worse, burst – causing an unseemly amount of damage.
The holidays are a time to celebrate and relax with loved ones, so don’t spend the season worrying about your home. With some simple precautions in place, your property will be set up for safety, and you can spend your holiday season focusing on what really matters.
Adapted from How To Keep Your Property Safe on RIS Media