Memorial Day is a welcomed relief; it’s the weekend that signifies summer has finally arrived.
Before you pile the family into the car or book a last-minute flight for a weekend getaway, don’t forget to cover your bases at home.
Memorial Day is the third top holiday for car thefts, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Your property is also at an increased risk if you live near a tourist town. For example, last year, Memorial Day weekend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina—a popular vacation spot—brought “hundreds of police reports,” and more violence took place that weekend than Independence Day. According to the report, the top Memorial Day weekend crimes were larceny and burglary.
Follow the simple guidelines below to ensure your home is secure this holiday weekend.
3 Easy Steps to Safeguard Your Home
1. Call a Friend
Ask a family member, neighbor or close friend to house or pet sit. Request them to keep an eye on your property for suspicious activity. If you’re going to be away for more than a few days, discuss lawn care with your sitter; a lawn that looks unkempt is a sign of vacancy.
Stop your mail, or ask your house sitter to collect your mail and any delivered packages for you as well.
2. Pull the Plug
Unplug electronics and appliances to save money, and protect your home from an electrical fire or power surge. Examples include your TV, microwave, toaster oven, and any extension cords or power strips not being used for lamps. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “an estimated 47,700 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction.”
Disconnecting devices will also save you a few dollars to spend on weekend Mai-Tais or souvenirs.
3. All Systems Go
Take this opportunity to install a security system or home automation, or upgrade your existing system to include home automation devices. An interactive surveillance system's value will really shine when you’re on vacation, offering unprecedented levels of convenience and peace of mind.
Use your smartphone to monitor and control your home remotely while you’re away.
- Ensure doors and windows are securely locked throughout your home.
- Adjust heating and cooling to provide your house sitter and pets with a comfortable temperature, and save money.
- Create the illusion that you’re home. Set lights on an automatic schedule to switch on and off, and make your home appear active.
- Keep tabs on visitors with automatic alerts through video surveillance. Know the exact moment when your house sitter, or anyone else, arrives at your home.
- Check in on your property utilizing remote camera monitoring. Take a peek in or outside your house to ensure all systems are running smoothly, and everything is in its place.
Lastly, it’s important to think through risks that are unique to your home. Do you have a faulty garage door? Are pricy electronics or other valuable items in plain view from your first-floor windows? Take a look at your house from an intruder’s perspective: what’s vulnerable or valuable about your property and assets? Take proactive steps to mitigate any risks in order to enjoy your vacation and return to find your home safe and secure.
How do you safeguard your home before leaving for vacation? Share your tips in the comments below!
Image Source: matt_sawyers