Oftentimes we’re so obsessed with going away that we forget to protect the home on our way out.
Here are a few tips to prep your house before your vacation, and avoid any theft in the process.
Precautions before departure
Keep quiet about your departure
When going out of the country, we tend to shout it from the rooftops. That’s probably a bad idea as the fewer the number of people notified about your departure, the better. Only tell your close friends and family, as well as a trusted neighbor.
Give your keys to someone you trust
To avoid unpleasant surprises on your return or fool thieves during your absence, you can give your house keys to a member of your family or close friend. That person will be able to check everything is in order while you’re abroad.
If s/he has the opportunity to come over every other day, why not also ask him/her to regularly open and close your blinds so people believe your house is occupied as usual.
Hide your valuables
During your absence, avoid having any cash lying around the kitchen tables or jewelry on your nightstand. Better to put all the pretty things away in a small box in your dressing room, or hide them among your clothes.
If you’re the kind of person to keep things of very high value in your home, you should install a safe.
Check doors and windows
Before leaving, take care to ensure that all openings in the house are closed.
This departure on holiday can be an opportunity to do some tweaks to your windows and doors:
– Install additional locks.
– Invest in a more secure door.
– Install some double-glazing.
Pretend you’re still home
Being a bit tricky won’t cost you a cent. You can deter potential thieves from robbing you by removing all signs you’re actually away.
Ask a close friend to check for any mail overflow (obvious sign you’re not home).
As said above, you can also ask your trust-worthy person to open/close the blinds and shutters to give the illusion of a daily presence.
If you are away for a long time, you can also ask someone to maintain your garden and lawn.
Adopt home automation. The system allows you to set a fixed time for lighting or opening the shutters.
House-sitting and exchanges
Alternatives to “faking” your house being occupied is to actually have someone living inside it. Introducing house-sitting.
Sort of like baby-sitting but for the house, a person will pretty much be staying over while you’re away. In exchange for the accommodation, they will maintain and take care of everything from maintenance to pets.
Similarly, you can do a “home exchange” where you agree to switches places with another person for a pre-determined amount of time. This is very popular during the holidays, especially for visits outside of the country. And it’s all free.