Keep Your Home Safe: A Checklist Before You Leave for Vacation

By on June 22, 2015
keep your home safe while traveling

By Rudri Patel

Just like the temperature, household burglary rates soar during the summer, according to a report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Make smart choices to ensure your home, surrounding property and identity stay safe while you are on vacation. Use the following checklist to keep your mind at ease while you are away:

Tell a Trusted Friend or Neighbor Your vacation plans

Let a friend or neighbor know you are away and ask if he will keep an eye on your property. Have him collect your daily newspaper, grab your mail and check the property perimeter for suspicious activity. Give your neighbor your contact number so he can reach you in an emergency.

Check Your Home Alarm System

If your home is equipped with an alarm system, check that it is working correctly. Make certain the batteries are current, call the alarm system company and confirm that everything is working properly. Inform the alarm company of your vacations plans. If the company receives a notification of an intruder while you are gone, representatives should immediately call the police instead of informing you first.

Secure Identity Theft Monitoring

Dealing with identity theft is a nightmare anytime, but it’s especially difficult while you are on vacation, since access to your accounts and technology may be limited. Don’t be caught off guard by taking preventive measures to protect yourself before you leave on your trip. Invest in an identify theft protection service to monitor all of your accounts and alert you to any kind of breach. Many companies, including LifeLock, also monitor your credit reports and actively watch underground websites where criminals frequently sell identity information.

Don’t Advertise Your Plans on Social Media

It is tempting to make an announcement on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram about an upcoming vacation, but this isn’t a wise move. You don’t want people knowing your vacation plans because it might be just the hint a potential criminal uses to his advantage. If you are interested in sharing your travel adventures, post pictures after you return home.

Hold Mail & Newspapers

If several newspapers are accumulating on the driveway or the mail is piling up in the mail box, this is an obvious giveaway that you aren’t home. If you can’t rely on anyone to pick up your newspapers or mail, make certain these items are held before delivery.

Ask Police to Patrol

Many communities will provide extra police patrol if you let them know you are out of town. This may not be an option if you live in a big city, but police departments with community and neighborhood outreach programs in smaller towns will often drive by your house to check in on your house.

Keep an Emergency Folder Handy

If there is an emergency while you are on vacation, have a handy folder available with copies of your credit card information, important phone numbers and home alarm contacts. Keep this folder in an easily accessible place when you travel.

Rudri Patel is a former lawyer turned writer and editor, wife, mother and observer. She has written for Brain, Child; Huffington Post; First Day Press; and Mamalode. She is seeking grace in the ordinary.

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Keep Your Home Safe: A Checklist Before You Leave for Vacation