Family with little boy going on vacation, loading luggage into car.

Keeping Your Home Safe While on Vacation

It's one thing leaving your home for a three-week vacation with your family, it's another thing coming back to meet everything as you left it without no issues.

We've heard at least one horror story about a family returning home from a long vac only to find that pipe has burst in their absence or their house has been broken into. Problems like these can cause a lot to fix. Few things you can do to prevent security breaches while you're off on a family adventure are:

  • Don't Indicate Publicly That You'll Be Away From Home: don't put anything on your voicemail, answering machine, email auto-reply, social media indicating you'll be gone. It's tempting to post your vacation photos in the moment, but your safest bet is to wait after you return home. You can probably make your posts viewable to friends only, if you can't resist.
  • Install Outdoor Security Lights: when looking for a way inside, burglars are more likely to go for dark/hidden areas from neighbours' views. You can illuminate these hiding spots by installing outdoor security lights in the burglary-prone areas such as the backdoor or sides of the house.
  • Remove Spare Keys You May Have Stashed Under Your Doormat:  Your hiding spots for keys aren't as clever and safe as you think. Collect all keys from anywhere outside before you're out of town.
  • Unplug Nonessential Electronics: TVs, computers, coffee makers, fans, etc should be unplugged. This reduces the risk of fire and save you money. Unplugging them  also protects them against electric surges which can short out expensive equipment or cause fires.
  • Shut off Water Main: Consider shutting off the water supply to each toilet at the very least, and to the dish washer, washing machine, etc.
  • Clear Storm Drains and Gutters: In an intense rainstorm, if the water has nowhere to go, it could accumulate too close to the house, saturate the ground and seep into your basement.
  • Ask a Trusted Friend To Check in Periodically: Maybe not inside the house but it is safe to have someone on the look in and around your compound

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