A holiday vacation, a weekend away from home, or a business trip should be a pleasant experience for you and your family, and often, our fears can get the best of us and give us cause for concern when in fact there are no reasons for being alarmed. However, being safe and secure at all times is not just something that one should do when going out of town, but rather, something that should be incorporated into one’s daily routine. By being aware of your surroundings and the world around you and your loved ones, small steps can add up to providing year-round peace of mind.
Create A Vacation Checklist And Keep Your Property Secure
When it’s time to take a trip or leave town for a few days, the planning behind the journey and destination usually take up most of one’s time and energy. It’s quite normal to focus on the adventure ahead, but before you set sail, spend a little bit of time planning the security of your home and assets before you hit the road. By spending time writing or listing areas of concern and then focusing on their security, you’ll find that you’ll gain an added sense of peace of mind, all while physically verifying the security of your personal spaces.
Whether it be a list or a permanent checklist, first establish the areas that pose security threats. These areas would include (and are not limited to):
- Security of all doors including garage, pet, and basement doors and entryways into one’s home.
- Security of external sheds, storage areas, air conditioning, pool pump systems, or anything that contains a value to you.
- Fence gates, pathways to a back patio, or an outside stairwell leading up to your house can often be overlooked and should be kept in mind as well. Do you have a second driveway or an unimproved path leading to your property? How secure is it?
- Mail, newspaper, and expected deliverables — Do you have someone who can keep your packages secure?
- Neighbor interactions: Have you informed your neighbors about your trip? Do you have a reliable neighbor that you can depend on in times of need?
Home Security Checklist Ideas To Keep Your Valuables Safe
Now that we’ve covered the areas surrounding your home and property lines, let’s go over some added security steps one should keep in mind when preparing for a safe and secure trip out of town.
- How well do you trust your locks? Any lock can be bypassed, but a heavy duty deadbolt or padlock can detract even the most dedicated thief.
- Make sure any broken windows, door or window locks are repaired.
- Ask a neighbor to watch the house while you’re away. It’s a good idea to leave your vacation address and telephone number with a neighbor so you can be reached in case of an emergency.
- Never leave your house key hidden outside your home. Leave a copy with either a neighbor, a close friend or colleague, or a relative who lives nearby.
- Arrange for someone to mow your lawn, rake leaves and maintain the yard to give the home a lived-in look. Have a neighbor place garbage cans at the curb on your normal pickup days and return them after the garbage pickup is made.
- Plug in timers to turn lights and a radio or television on and off at appropriate times. This helps in creating the impression that your home is occupied and secured.
- Turn the bell or ringer on your home telephone down low. If a burglar is around, he won’t be alerted to your absence by a ringing phone.
- Don’t announce your absence on answering machine messages; leave your normal message on the machine.
- Leave your blinds, shades and curtains in the same position that you normally keep them when at home.
- Ask a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway. If you leave your car at home, park it as you normally would. Vehicles parked outside should be moved occasionally to appear that they are being used.
- Consider taking valuables to a bank safe deposit box.
- If you are close to or know any local law enforcement officers who frequent your neighborhood, let them know that you plan to be away. Patrol officers may have the opportunity to periodically check your home, depending on availability.
- Engrave your valuables as recommended in Operation I.D. This simple step will allow your stolen property to be identified and returned to you if recovered by the police.
By building a checklist once and making sure that all aspects of security are taken into account, ensuring that your valuables and peace of mind are both safe is an easy task. By automating it to an item-by-item checklist, not only will you save time in the long run, but you never have to worry about the proposition of occasional forgetfulness or second-guessing once you leave the city.
Leave Town Safely And With Added Peace Of Mind
Regardless of the reasons for your excursion, having a proper state of mind is important not just for your well-being, but for your bottom line as well. Leave all doubts at the door the next time you travel and spend an hour on a list of areas that could be potential vulnerabilities around your property. By doing this once and keeping it on-hand, the next time you leave town, you’ll have an easy to follow and comprehensive list of areas to secure, saving you time and giving you the assurances that allow you to travel in extra comfort.