How to protect your home while on vacation

When you’re traveling with your family, the last thing you want to think about is whether or not your home or property is at risk. Unfortunately, when you travel, that’s the prime time for criminals to strike. They’re more clever than you might think, and they may be aware when you leave town based on things like the lights being used in your home or something you post on social media.

You don’t want to come back to theft or damage when you travel, so with that in mind, the following are some tips to protect your home when you’re on vacation.

How to protect your home while you are on vacation: learn these steps!

Be Careful About Social Media

Social media is such a common part of our daily lives, and you might like sharing vacation photos, but be cautious that if your profiles are public, thieves can see them too.

You should either avoid posting that you’ll be traveling or are currently away. If you post about your vacation, double-check all of your security settings.

You can always wait until you’re back from your trip to share vacation pictures.

Visually Monitor Your Home When You’re Away

There are many great options available so that you can keep an eye on your home no matter where you are, on your phone, or your mobile device. Monitoring your home isn’t just helpful when you’re on vacation. You can also set it up so that you can watch your teen when they’re home from school, for example, or if you have a nanny or sitter.

You can use a camera or maybe a couple inside and outside of your home. They will transmit images or video to your WiFi router, so you can monitor the area in the camera’s view from your mobile device.

Depending on the type of camera you use, the images or video might be stored on a computer, a network hard drive, or in the cloud.

Video doorbells are incredibly popular right now and are helpful not only when you’re away from your house but also when you’re in your home if someone comes to your door.

If you have a doorbell camera, you’ll be able to see not only if someone is poking around but also if you get a delivery or package so that you can have someone put it away before it catches the eye of a would-be thief.

Many video doorbells will feature a motion sensor that will give you a mobile alert and initiate HD video recording.

Another type of technology that will provide you with home security is outdoor lighting equipped with a Wi-Fi camera. Some of these lights will send an alert to your smartphone if movement is detected, and you may be able to speak to someone who’s there or trigger an alarm.

Set Timers On Your Lights

If you have smart home technology, it’s easy to set timers on everything while you’re gone, including lights. If you can change up the lights and have them turn on and off throughout your trip, it’ll make it look like someone is home.

Have Someone Get Your Mail and Trash

Criminals will look in your mailbox if they think you’re away, and if mail is stacked up, their suspicions maybe confirmed. If trash piles up or you have packages stacked at the doorstep, again, it can tip off a criminal that you aren’t home.

It’s essential to have someone come when you’re away and handle these things because there’s also the risk of identity theft if your packages or mail is left out.

Avoiding Fires

It’s not just the potential for an intruder you want to think about if you’re heading out on a family vacation.

You also want to avoid the risk of a fire.

You should unplug electronics and make sure that you’ve stored anything combustible safely away.

You can include fire alarm monitoring with your security system.

Preventing Flooding

Finally, you, of course, don’t want to return to flooding or water damage. You should make sure that you install water sensors or a flood detection system. These will let you know if there’s a leak in your home, so even if you’re away, you might be able to send someone to your house to fix it before the issue becomes more extensive.

Test your sump pump before you leave and clear any debris from your ditches and drains. You should also clean your downspouts and gutters before you head out.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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