Away On Vacation - Tips To Make Your Home Safe
Do you know when your neighbors are away without them telling you? I bet you do because as human beings we are inherently able to identify routines. Even if you are not paying attention to them, you recognize them and if you are not cognoscente of it, you have them too.
Every morning you may walk out with your cup of coffee to the end of the driveway and pick up your newspaper. For those that spend their time on their phones, a newspaper is a printed item that tells you what goes on in the world, it’s hand delivered to your home. 😉 Anyway, your neighbor, let’s call him Bill may have the same routine. On top of that it so happens that say, four out of seven mornings you and bill walk to get the paper at the same time. As you cross paths, you greet one another, have small talk and on with your day you go. Over time you realize that Bill leaves the house every week day morning at 8:15 sharp, to get to work on time. And in turn, I promise that Bill, or Bills wife knows that you get home from work at 5:30 each night. It’s routine and routines are easy to pick up on by not only neighbors but bad guys too.
Some of the things that we teach in our work place violence seminars and safety training's is that, in essence, the more activity, whether it be real or perceived the better. We encourage companies to host public events that may be good for the community. We tell them to keep a clear, clean and well landscaped property, we even tell them to post “Children At Play” signs. Why? Because this tells bad guys that people are watching. And watching people make great witnesses and help steer the bad people away.
In my opinion, bad guys are lazy, so fortify your home, use, in fact over use motion lights, just don’t create an enemy with your neighbor, nobody wants that. Reinforce your ground level windows with clear plastic that is easily applied. Anything extra you do will help push that lazy bad guy off your property and on down the road they will go.
Anyway, that’s not what this article is about, this is meant to be a quick and easy post that will give you some tips to help keep your house safe while away on vacation. So here we go.
- Put your mail and newspaper delivery on hold. Better yet, have a neighbor or family member come over daily to secure them. The activity will help steer people away.
- Call your local police department and let them know you’ll be away. Request extra patrol. That department will pass the information along to all their officers to be aware. And they will be.
- Install timers to your interior and exterior lights. Don’t set them for the same set up each night. By timers that do different things on different days of the week at different times.
- Employee a house sitter, or someone to come daily to check the house.
- Have those people change the layout of you curtains and blind’s. On Monday the kitchen curtains my be drawn, but Tuesday they are open. Trust me, this will not go unnoticed if someone is in fact watching your home.
- Double check all your doors and locks before you leave
- Keep mowing the lawn – If you don’t normally hire someone to do it, hire someone or pay the neighbors kid to mow. Remember, activity helps keep away the unwanted.
- Do not keep extra cash or valuable items in your home that can be stored safely some place else while you are away.
- Keep a detailed list of all your valuables that you have to leave at home, note their serial numbers, make and model even location where they normally are. Keep this list at another location or even better on your person.
- Have a plan as to what to do if something happens while you are away. Break in, fire, flood, water heater goes, alien invasion, etc. Know what to do before life dictates that you have to do something.
The idea here like most things we teach is you need to begin to think like a criminal, not act like one. If you sit back before leaving for your vacation and say, “where is my most vulnerable spot?” Once you identify that, keep thinking out of the box and find other ways to do damage. With each vulnerability come up with a realistic plan to fortify it. In a day and time of technology, you can substantially invest money and make your entire home digital, accessible and controllable from your smartphone.
There is no full proof plan that will stop all bad things from happening. But, the more obstacles you put in place, the more creative and realistic safety features you put in place, the better off you will be.