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Keeping Your Home Safe While on Vacation

If you're excited for your vacation trip - put your mind at ease with these tips for securing your home when you're not there.

Car and kids are packed. Directions printed. Dog’s at the kennel. Vacation fun awaits you.

As you pull away from the house you run through your checklist one last time. All seems in order. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll obsess about it for a bit wondering what you forgot until something else occupies that harried space in your brain.

Have you made these considerations for home safety while away?

  1. Hush! No need to alert your entire Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest community that you’ve just pulled out of your driveway for an exciting 2 week Disney adventure. FourSquare check-ins at every rest stop. Also unnecessary. Publish your fun after the fact in order to eliminate risks for yourself.
  2. Safe House “Keeper”.  No, not that kind of house keeper. Find a trusted neighbor, relative or friend who can hold an extra key, water flowers, pick up newspapers and just generally check-in every now and then. And bring all those outdoor spare keys in.
  3. Light it. Alarm it. Those automatic timers really work. Grab one and connect it to some lighting that’s obvious from the street and sends a sign that someone’s home. If you have a home security system in place, those little lawn signs are effective for letting others know you’re serious about your security. 
  4. Mail pickup.  While it’s a nice option to have the Post Office hold your mail, again, it’s just another indication that you won’t be around for a while. Let your designated house “keeper” grab your mail too and keep it safe for you until you arrive back home.
  5. Trim before the trip. Nothing says “We’re not home” better than an unruly lawn and landscaping. Consider tidying up the outside of your home before you head out.
  6. Unplug. You won’t be brewing coffee while away, right? Disconnect all unnecessary appliances like TVs, computers, coffee makers just in case there’s a storm and power surge.

 

If you have serious concerns about the safety of your home while away, you can grab web cameras for under $100 each and view areas of your home right from your iPhone or iPad. Of course, you’ll have to take your eyes off your kids at the pool for this.

For more real estate and community info, connect with me at www.facebook.com/njrealtorjodi and www.facebook.com/365thingswestfield.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Steve August 23, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Some cars have a homelink transmitter built into them for opening the garage door, usually build in the sun-visor or center roof console . So you are not going to remove them. Most openers will have a transmitter lockout button on them, it it a good idea to use that as well as most doors have a mechanical locking mechanism on the inside. So physically lock your garage doors and/or lock out the transmitter.
Steve August 23, 2012 at 02:11 PM
As a neighbor to put out and take in your trash can on trash pick-up days and to put some garbage in your can, same thing for recycling days.
Jodi Luminiello August 24, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Wow. Love all of this insight and great advice.
Jodi Luminiello August 24, 2012 at 12:02 PM
My friends have a neighbor who even parks in their driveway when they are away for work - which is often. It's now a routine and something that I'm sure deters curious people with bad intentions. Thanks for all the great feedback everyone.
PJ_Wolf August 24, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Another issue not explicitly stated above under Hush! - Do not post anything on social media sites from your mobile if you have location settings enabled as it will report your geographic location.

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