12 Easy Tips to Keep Your Home Safe While You're Traveling for the Holidays
Thanksgiving and Christmas have a lot of people jetting across the country to visit those distant relatives they see once or twice a year. The trip alone generally means that there will be 2 or 3 days that no one will be watching your house. This makes many people nervous. Visions of 'Home Alone' and floods dance through their heads. It does not have to be that way! You can relax and enjoy the relatives if you follow these 12 tips to keep your home safe while you're traveling for the holidays.
- Make sure you lock your windows as well as your doors. Thieves can jimmy open windows, so place wood rods in the tracks of the windows once you close them. It might be smart to add new dead bolts, just for added deterrence.
- Do a quick check on your home security system. Making sure it is in working order will ease your mind considerably.
- Make sure your neighbors can see into your house by trimming the bushes so that they are shorter than the windows. You should also check if trees or other vegetation block the view. Taking these steps will discourage trespassers as they will feel too exposed to break in.
- If you can, put your lights on timers so that different rooms have their lights turn on during different times of the day. This is another sign to potential trespassers that you are home and will brook no incursions into your castle.
- Open the curtains before you go. This is another way to make potential burglars feel too exposed to bother with your house. It also lets neighbors see if there is anything going on in there.
- Ask someone you trust to house-sit. The trusted one can check in daily to collect mail (so it doesn't look like no one is home) and water plants (if you have sensitive plants.) This person will see evidence of trouble early on, before you come home, so there is less potential for damage.
- If you live in a cold climate, turn off the water. The pipes can freeze over in cold weather and burst, flooding your house and risking damage. Turn off the main pipe to prevent water from flooding your house.
- Turn off the water valves to your washing machine. This will prevent flooding in the laundry room.
- Clean out your gutters. This is another way to prevent potential damage. Clean gutters will provide a safe route for water to reach the ground.
- Check your sump pump to make sure it is working in case a storm hits.
- Unplug electronics to protect them from surge damage. You can protect electronics plugged into surge protectors by turning them off. You won't be there to rescue your poor computer while away.
- Protect your outdoor spigots from a deep freeze by shutting off their water supply while your away.
Holidays are meant to be enjoyable occasions with time for family and friends. If your holiday involves travel, worrying about your home during your absence can certainly put a chill on all the fun. Here are some useful tips to help take the worry out of your next travel holiday.