Home Alone is a fun movie to watch, but the consequences of having someone try to break into your home are much more severe than this holiday film suggests.
As entertaining as it seems, a kid probably would not know how to handle such a dangerous situation.
It is up to you to ensure that your home is safe when you are away. And to make sure you have all your kids with you too.
There are many ways to protect your property while you are away on vacation or just out of the house. Ideally, you should layer up on the methods you use, which helps to better safeguard your home.
Set up Surveillance
Having a home security system is one of the best ways to keep your house safe when you are away.
There are many types of systems that you can use, but surveillance will allow you greater peace of mind.
These options give you a direct link to your home most of the time, even when you are far away. Make sure you have some sensors and cameras around your house and not just inside of it.
You will want to get a warning before anyone gets close. Motion-triggered lights are great, too, since they will discourage potential intruders.
The first thing you want to be sure of when you leave the house is that everything is locked up tight.
This includes all doors and windows, even ones you do not think anyone can get at. You can upgrade your tech with electronic locks, which may intimidate the most daring of thieves.
You should double up on protection by including physical locks as well. Additionally, it is great to have a fence in place.
Do your best to ensure that it is not something that an athletic person can easily jump or climb over.
One of the prime rules when leaving home is to ensure that no one knows the house is empty. Prevent observation into your house and others looking for activity within by closing all your blinds, fully or partially.
Keep Up Appearances
Ensure that you have some trusted people to help check in on your home when you are gone. These same people will make sure that it looks like the house is still occupied.
Have them maintain the lawn and bring in letters. If you do not have someone for this, you can hire someone too.
Be sure to pause or cancel any newspaper or magazine subscriptions so that deliveries do not pile up. That is a sure sign that the homeowner is away and communicates a good break-in opportunity.
Make sure your thermostat is appropriately programmed to handle your time away. You do not want to turn it off completely to prevent your pipes from freezing.
You can also programme it such that you will be returning to a comfortably warmed home. There are smart thermostats that you can control even while travelling.
This may help keep your energy usage efficient while maintaining the right temperature at home.
While you are away, you never know if any of your safeguards are working correctly. Give yourself some measure of peace and guarantee everything is full of juice.
Ensure that everything is powered on and has new batteries so that nothing will suddenly stop working once you are away.
Power surges can happen at any time. To keep your house safe and intact, make sure to unplug gadgets and devices that are not essential. This task is vital for heavy users of electricity, such as the fridge.
Shut Off or Switch Modes
Remember to shut off your water main. You do not want to come home to a flooded house. If your water heater has the programming for it, switch to vacation mode to save on power. You should also ensure that your lights are programmed to switch on and off as needed.
Keep all valuables out of sight. No one can steal your things if they cannot see them. Of course, this is much easier for small items such as cash and jewellery.
Never leave your laptop or camera just sitting on the table where someone could quickly snatch it and go.
It is important to keep up-to-date on maintenance tasks around your home. Storm drains and gutters should be cleared before a trip, especially if you plan to leave for a longer time. Ensure that all locks work and doors close securely.
If you have spare keys hidden away where you can reach them if you forget your usual set, remember to have those removed.
You do not want someone just bending down and taking your spares from under the doormat to intrude on your home.