Holiday Travel: Securing Your Home While You're Away

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Ahh December. The holidays are a wonderful time for seeing far away family and friends. When you’re away from your home, wouldn’t you like the peace of mind that comes from knowing your home is safe and secure?

Americans do a lot of traveling during the winter holidays. In 2018, a record-setting 112.5 million people travelled out of state during the holidays in this country. That number is expected to increase even more in 2019. This means about one out of every three Americans is going to leave their home empty for an extended period during the holidays. When you’re away, the focus should be on glad tidings and cheer, not anxiety and fear.

Luckily there are a few things you can do to protect your home and give you an added sense of security during your holiday travels. There’s no need for you to spend your December worrying or - even worse - cancel your travel plans. The tips below can help increase your sense of security and give you the peace of mind to enjoy yourself during your travels.

  • Have your mail and newspapers held while you’re gone. It’s the most visible sign to anyone that you’re not home: a big pile of newspapers on the porch and an overflowing mailbox. Having your news subscriptions and mail service held for specific days is very easily done. Just contact your paper and the post office and they’ll take care of it.
  • Don’t post pictures of your trip on social media until you return from vacation. This is going to be a tough one for a lot of people. We know you want desperately to show the world the incredible time you’re having with family and friends, but you can still be a famous influencer by posting your travel pictures after you’re safely home. That way thieves won’t see that you’re halfway across the world when you’re halfway across the world.
  • If you have a regular service schedule (like having your driveway and walk shoveled), keep that schedule going when you’re gone. If anyone is casing your house, they’ve kept track of that schedule and will notice any disruptions. Keep that service running as if you never left. Plus, you get the added benefits of returning after your travels to a house that’s been kept up.
  • Have a friend stop by the house, perhaps even to stay overnight. In addition to their being a deterrent to someone prowling around, they can see immediately if there’s been any sign of entry in the home (or if any other problems have arisen). The possibility of someone stopping by randomly is enough to deter any potential robbers casing your home. Note that if you live in an apartment, this friend should not be another resident in the same apartment community.
  • If possible, leave a car in the driveway. Thieves see this as the possibility of someone being in a house, making it a less attractive target. If you’re taking your only car on your trip, ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.
  • Get a household safe. While this won’t be large enough to hold large, big-ticket items (like televisions or stereos), it will be perfect for identity-rich documents or jewelry. Remember: thieves don’t want to loiter in a house they’re robbing. They’re looking for easy things to nab.
  • If you’re a renter, notify your property manager of your absence. A responsible manager will help protect your vacant rental. And if for any reason you wouldn’t trust your property manager with this responsibility, have another friend do it (and seriously consider another apartment).
  • Install motion activated lights inside and outside of your home. In addition to providing you with an easier time walking to your darkened home when you are home, they’ll also scare off any surprised prowler who activates them. Having inside lights on timers when you’re gone can provide this same element of surprise.
  • And of course, it’s always good to invest in a security system for your home. This could mean sensors that detect break-ins and contact a security company or the police, or a full physical security presence with regular patrolling of your home. Make sure you invest in a security system from a company you trust and that has a solid reputation.

You’ll want peace of mind during the holiday season to enjoy your time with loved ones. When you’re far away from home, wouldn’t you want the feeling of security that comes with knowing your home will be safe? If you’re travelling far away this holiday season, set up a solid plan for keeping your home secure. Talk to Signal Security about a plan for you and keep your holidays safe and peaceful.

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