photo credit: StuffEyeSee via photopin ccSpring Break. It’s finally here, and you almost can’t believe how much you’ve missed the sunshine. You deserve to relax and be carefree. And, while you’re temporarily forgetting about monthly bills, house frills, and winter chills, there’s one thing you don’t want to forget about: keeping your home safe.
Take Care of Business
It’s easy to conclude that you’re away if your front yard starts to look neglected and the sidewalks aren’t swept. You might consider hiring someone to take care of the landscaping chores while you’re on vacation. When you get back, the snow would have hopefully melted away, revealing any left over winter debris.
Another way to send the message that nothing is out of the ordinary at your house is to get your neighbor to take out your garbage and put the cans back after garbage pickup.
The post office can hold your mail from 3 to 30 days. So, before you head out, give them a call to stop mail delivery. More comfortable using a computer? A free feature of the United States Postal Service is submitting a stop mail request online. All you have to do is enter your address and stop and start dates.
If you still get the newspaper, you may want to stop this service when you leave for spring break. You wouldn’t want to tip off burglars that you’re not home with a stack of yellowing newspapers.
Don’t want to mess with all of this? Enlist a neighbor to pick up your mail and newspapers.
There are still some things you may miss that signal your absence. Since you can’t plan for every variable (and fend off every flier left on your doorknob), nothing beats having a person check the house every day or two. So, you may want to ask a trusted neighbor to watch your property when you are away. While they're there, they can water the lilies.
Another effective way to keep thieves away is to turn off your garage door to prevent them from opening it with a universal remote. If you’re flying to your vacation spot, don’t leave the portable GPS in your car that’s parked at the Indianapolis airport. Robbers figure out you won’t be home and have a convenient map right to it.
Skip the Media
It’s not a bad idea to be aware of who is around when you discuss your trip, whether you’re at a restaurant or even at work. Limit the information shared online, and let your kids know to do the same. No one is saying you should be paranoid, just discreet with what and how much is shared. Even a chance remark (or tweet) may have unintended and unfortunate repercussions.
Invest in a Good Alarm System
A good way to increase security and make your home safer, whether you’re around or not, is to install a home security system with integrated lighting automation that can be scheduled as well as controlled from your smartphone, tablet, or PC. As far as you’re concerned, these features fade into the background when you’re awake, hosting a grill out in your backyard, on vacation, or asleep. Yet, they make your property less appetizing to opportunistic burglars.
With the technology available, you will be able to, at least, have a system with a control panel, door/window sensors, and a motion detector. Often times, these features can be monitored using your cell phone. Visit our Home Security Assessment page to find out what system is best for you and your home.
This spring break, protect your home, and forget about literally everything.