Traveling for the holidays? Seeing family is a whole lot of fun (errr… or stress!). But worrying about your own house while you are away? Not so much fun. Wondering the best ways to keep your house safe and secure while you are gone? Check out these suggestions below!
Use an Alarm System
You probably don’t have time and energy to get a traditional alarm company scheduled to drill into your walls for expensive and permanent systems with long term contracts.
But you for sure have time to get SimpliSafe up and running. Simplisafe as an easy and effective solution to alarming your home – you can install items yourself, and set-up the service within hours. And guess what? The police do show-up, believe me.
The system is reliable and effective for those of us trying to save money but still want to protect our house and family – both when we are home and when we are traveling.
If nothing else, you can get no-police-response door stoppers that play sirens for pretty cheap!
If you have an Echo (“hey Alexa…”) or a Google Home, you can set-up your device to play music, talking, or even dog sounds for free at different times throughout the day or week. You can also get creative by using a timed electrical outlet for a radio, or you can even get this dog barking alarm!
Don’t Post/Advertise that You are Away
I always find it surprising when people flaunt that they are away traveling and leaving their big, beautiful homes completely empty. It’s different if your social media accounts are small and private, or if you are not actually leaving a big beautiful home completely empty and unarmed. But – there are plenty of people who are doing just this – even in the world of public profiles. Try saving your posts of fun videos and photos of holiday travel until after you return.
Make sure not to get in the habit of telling everyone you see your travel plans in public places (like at the coffee shop or the mall for your holiday shopping!). You never know who is listening and paying attention.
Plug-in Automatic Lights
Using a timed electrical outlet is super easy for lights. Heck, get a couple and plug in different laps around the house on different time setting. If you have outdoor lights, make sure you timers are set and if you have door motion sensor lights – make sure they work!
Nest makes a great product and the app is available on your phone from anywhere. They offer high-quality visuals and you can even record footage based on your plan. Having nest cameras is a great, great way to keep an eye on your house when you are away. They make a special outdoor camera and also an indoor one. They are incredibly easy to set-up, and retain some value in a resale if you decide you don’t need them anymore.
Have a Neighbor Check on Your House
If you have a friend nearby or a neighbor who is always helpful – it is great to have them swing by your house every other day. Is there a package laying at the front door? Is the back gate open? Did something weird happen overnight? Even if they just drive by on their way home from work – knowing someone is on the look-out will give you peace of mind when you are far away. Always offer to return the favor!
Get your Driveway Plowed
If you live in a place that snows, set-up a snow-plow service before you depart. If it snows, they come. You pay them. If it doesn’t snow, no big deal. But leaving a house with no tracks and no plowing for days – dead give away no one is home.
Hold your Mail / Packages
USPS and other services like FedEx and UPS will hold your mail and packages for a certain period of time. Make sure to set this hold service up before you depart so that nothing important is left at the front door, and your mailbox isn’t overflowing. Hold newspapers and other items off too – you can pick them up when you get home! Having things collect is a sure sign of an empty house and with so many porch pirates around, leaving items out is enticing to a lot of thieves.
Have Someone Roll Out Your Garbage Bins
Like your mail and packages, and getting your driveway plowed – garbage is a sign of occupancy. If you have a friendly neighbor, ask them. You could even find a high school student to pay a few bucks. It can be worth it to keep things looking “normal” day to day!
Get the Ring DoorBell
Ring is changing the way people function at home – safety wise. You can see who is at your front door without having to open it, or even be home! You can even talk to the person! Life changing. I have talked to delivery people on my app from my desk at work while they stand at my front door, I have told solicitors to get lost without having to come downstairs. Ring keeps my family safe and sound – we can see a live view of our front door and walkway and even record events.