Keep Your Home Safe When You Are Away

February 20, 2023

Did you know that Americans get less paid time off than most other countries in the world? It’s true. The United States has no federal paid vacation policy. We’re one of just a handful of countries without paid leave guaranteed each year. Yet even though we have less time off than our friends abroad or to the south, it seems Americans always have an excuse as to why they can’t take time away. Either they’re afraid to ask their boss for leave, they are concerned with how much it costs to travel, or they don’t want to leave their home unattended. So, if this last concern keeps you home bound, here are a few ways to put your mind at ease and keep your home safe while you are away.


Alert Your Alarm Company


If you will be away overnight or longer, it’s not a bad idea to let your alarm company know you will be gone. And be sure to set your alarm to “away” when you leave. Doing this gives your alarm company the heads up that if they see something awry, they need to say something. And alerting them also lets them know how to reach you when you aren’t home.


Invest in Outdoor Security Lighting


Though this might be a bigger rock, it’s a worthwhile investment. There are many benefits of outdoor home security lighting. These systems help deter thieves from targeting your home and yard. Further, illuminated doors, windows, patios, etc., make it hard for burglars to make their way into your yard unnoticed and even harder to get all the way to your home.


Let Your Neighbors Know You’ll be Away


Neighbors are a great resource when it comes to home protection. If you have a neighbor or two you can trust, tell them you’ll be gone. Even better, ask them to grab your mail each day and check your front step for packages. Some burglars check mailboxes to help determine if people are gone, especially if they see other signs that you are away. A mailbox full of mail indicates that you hopped on a plane and might be lying on a beach somewhere. Ensure your neighbors know how to reach you so they can alert you if something arises.


Hire a Lawn or Snow-Removal Service


Another red flag that you are gone is a lawn that has become overgrown or a driveway and sidewalk full of snow. If you are going to be gone for more than a day or two during winter and live where the snow likes to fall, ask a neighbor to keep the driveway and sidewalk clear for you or hire a local snow removal company. In the summer months, mow the lawn shortly before you leave. If you will be gone long enough that another mowing will need to occur before you return, make arrangements to have it done. This is a great way to make it appear that you are home and business is going on as usual.


Keep Some Curtains and Blinds Open


When you are preparing to leave for a few days, the natural inclination is to shut the house down completely. Pulling down the shades and closing up those room-darkening curtains helps keep burglars from seeing what is inside your house. However, this is a tried-and-true way to let criminals know you are gone. Many burglars keep an eye on your home long before you leave, so they pay attention to your patterns. So, if you usually leave window curtains or blinds open during the day, stay the course.


Think Twice About Those Social Media Posts


Who doesn’t want to take to Facebook or Instagram to post a selfie in front of a Roman ruin, the Eiffel tower, or a crystal-blue ocean and beach? We all do, and in the world of Facebook, with over 2.96 billion users, you can rest assured you are not alone. But when you are gone and posting photos of you 3,000 miles away (or even as close as up north), you are alerting all those users that you are gone, and your home might be ripe for the picking. So, hold off posting all those photos until after you return.


Take the Time Away but Be Mindful When Doing So


If you are ready for a vacation, by all means, take it, and don’t let home safety keep you from enjoying some much-needed time off. By following the above recommendations, you are more likely to return to a safe and secure home.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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