Image by Zorro delavega / CC BY
Protecting one’s property while traveling elsewhere has been an issue for people ever since they had homes and belongings to protect. An empty house is an easy target for burglars, and over the years, vacationers have developed a variety of methods to trick thieves into thinking someone is in residence. Today, with a few simple steps, you can enjoy your vacation without having to worry about anyone breaking into your home.
Obviously, the simplest way to create the illusion of a full house is to actually fill the house. A friend, family member, or neighbor can easily stop in every day to fetch the mail, water the plants, and feed the pets so that the house doesn’t appear abandoned. If you’re looking for more security, you might consider hiring a house sitter for the duration of your trip.
There are also many digital options, such as security cameras that can pipe video to laptops or smartphones anywhere in the world. If opting for web-enabled cameras, consider also investing in light switch and outlet timers, because lights and electronics turning on and off at natural times is far more effective than simply leaving them on full time.
Furthermore, don’t forget to put a stop order on mail with a phone call to the USPS or through its website. If you plan on being away for a lengthy trip, consider notifying the local police or home security company about your travel plans and appoint a trusted friend as an emergency contact.
Thieves are not the only agents of destruction you need to worry about while traveling. Every year, people head south to avoid chilly winter weather only to return home to find burst pipes and water damage, so consider having your pipes thoroughly checked and keep your home warm enough to prevent freezing. Likewise, in the summer, storms can cause power surges that can harm electronic devices, so unplug everything except the air conditioner, which you should keep running at a low level to prevent mold growth.