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What Are Some Ways to Protect My Home When I Travel?

A person who is traveling should arrange to have someone pick up their mail and newspapers.
Having someone regularly mow a home's yard will make the house appear occupied.
Unplug appliances before traveling.
When traveling, you should not leave information that you are away on answering machine.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 22 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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When you take vacations you may naturally be concerned about how to protect your home when you travel. Of course, one concern is a possible break-in while you’re away from home. You also need to protect your home from fire danger or flooding that can occur while you’re away.

There are many Internet tips for how to protect your home when you travel. These deal mostly with burglary issues, and are excellent advice to follow. You can protect your home when your travel from possible break-ins with the following tips:

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    1) Let a trusted neighbor pick up your mail and newspapers, or stop these services to your home.
    2) If you plan to be away for more than a few weeks, you can protect your home by having your lawn mowed regularly to give the illusion of being home.
    3) Don’t leave keys to your home in any hiding places outdoors.
    4) Leave lights on a timer, or have neighbors visit your home every couple of days to turn lights on and off, open or close drapes, and give a sense someone is still resident.
    5) Employ a trusted housesitter, if you will be away for more than a week or two.
    6) Don’t leave information on your answering machine that you are not at home.
    7) Don’t advertise the fact that you’re planning to be gone.
    8) Do enlist neighbors or neighborhood watch groups to look out for your home while you’re gone, and help you protect your home when you travel.

You can also protect your home from possible fire or flooding due to broken pipes by keeping a checklist you observe before you leave your home. If you are not employing a housesitter, you should unplug major appliances, like TVs, computers, washing machines and dryers. Unplugging the fridge is a judgment call, since it can smell pretty badly after a few days of being turned off.

On your checklist you should include:

    1) All major appliances unplugged
    2) All lights turned off
    3) All doors locked and windows secured by locks
    4) No bathroom or other types of fans left on
    5) All appliances like coffee pots and irons turned off
    6) Turn off gas to the home to prevent gas leaks
    7) If you are traveling during the winter, and there is a possibility of freezing temperature, be sure to set your heater (you'll need to keep your gas on) to a low setting, but well above freezing
    8) Be sure to insulate pipes that are vulnerable to freezing and breaking
    9) Remove outdoor hoses and insulate spigots

If you actually go through a list like this and check each item, you are far more likely to protect your home while you travel. You may also want to let local police know if your absence is extended. This tends to work well in small communities, but in large communities it may not be as effective.

You can also protect your home when you travel if you have a home security system that is monitored by a security company. Many security companies will do daily checks of your home to be sure it remains unmolested. Also it can be worthwhile to make sure your home is plainly visible to neighbors.

Plan to cut down high bushes that obscure view to your home, as a burglar is more likely to find a home that is private an easier target. If you live in fire danger areas, be sure to protect your home while you travel by adhering to fire department recommendations regarding minimizing brush, wooded or grassy areas that would more easily spread a fire. Plan to have such things trimmed or removed a few weeks before you travel.

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Discuss this Article

anon343032
Post 4

The number of home burglaries traditionally spike in the summer months. I think that light timers and Fake TV are excellent solutions to deter burglars. Also, playing anti-theft home occupancy sounds MP3 or a CD (sells on Amazon) in home while away is a great way to scare burglar that someone is in.

anon203125
Post 3

I've never had dust stain my furniture, and I sure don't keep an extra set of curtains laying around.

turquoise
Post 2

I do have an alarm system in my house but I still don't leave out things like a laptop or other expensive electronics in eye sight when I'm away from home. I don't leave out jewelry or money either. I hide them where a burglar would have difficulty finding it.

I also don't know the neighbors too well yet because I moved here recently. So I ask my best friend to drive by and check if everything looks okay when she gets a chance.

I do think that alarm systems that inform the company or emergency services when the alarm goes off is a good idea though.

burcidi
Post 1

These are really helpful tips.

I also do some things inside the house to protect furniture and appliances if I am leaving for more than a month. I cover furniture with sheets to prevent dust from staining the furniture. I also remove my fancy curtains and replace them cheaper ones that I don't mind getting dirty.

I clean out the fridge and throw away or give away perishables. I also leave the fridge doors open to let air circulate and to prevent odors.

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