Home Safety When Traveling: A Topic We Often Forget

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We talk a lot here about traveling safely.  It’s a boring topic, but worthy of consideration. Kind of like travel insurance. It’s not a fun part of travel planning but we’re going to talk about it anyway. Bear with me.  Think along the lines of learning  how to travel with carry-on luggage only which totally eliminates the possibility of airline handling fail.  You may or may not be motivated to travel that way.  Check off the boxes: you might already be doing these home safety things. If so, odds are you’ll return to a home much like you left it after your fabulous cruise vacation.

  • Hire A House Sitter “The number one best thing you can do if you’re going to be away from home for a while is hire a person to live in your house for you,” notes SimpliSafe a home security company, on its website.  Benefits of a house sitter?  Your home does not look vacant because it’s not. If pipes freeze or burst, someone is there to handle it as opposed to you coming home to a mess.  Plants get watered, mail picked up, pets stay home and we all have a Merry Christmas.
  • An Emergency Captain Is OK Too- SimplySafe suggests “If you can’t get a house sitter, tell your neighbors you’re leaving. Ask if one of them will be your emergency captain, in charge of calling or emailing you if something goes terribly awry.” Now this one will take some work for us.  The hood we live in is not like that. We usually sneak out in the dark so the neighbors/gangs/thugs don’t know we’re gone. You, however, might have a friendly relationship with the folks down the street.  Use that.

“If you can’t get a house sitter, tell your neighbors you’re leaving. Ask if one of them will be your emergency captain, in charge of calling or emailing you if something goes terribly awry.”

  • Cruise CompeteStop Your Mail To Keep Your Home Safe –There are actually two schools of thought on this.  SimpliSafe likes stopping your mail: “If you don’t have a house sitter doing it for you, ask the post office to stop your mail for the range of dates you’ll be away.” This assumes that the postal worker does not go…well…postal,  hiding in the bushes waiting for you to return.  Stopping mail is easy to do:  online at usps.com.   The other thought about stopping mail is a bit more complicated. Still, it follows the common thought in all this: it’s best to fake everyone into thinking you’re still there and never left.  Don’t stop your mail and have someone trusted pick it up is one way to do that.  Limiting your normal pickup of mail to once a week is another.  Basically, you fake out the postal workers who are used to your mail piling up in the mailbox.
  • Keep Your Home Safe: Use Light Timer- You know this: a little device that turns a lamp on and off at 8PM every night to scare off evil doers, surely convinced someone is inside with a shotgun and a flock of angry birds.  If you  read this far, it’s time to payoff your fortitude.  The next two are actually great tips
  • Change The Primary Contacts For Your Home Alarm System- This is really a very good idea.  I suggest changing that number from your daughter and friend who live on the other side of town who will come over in the middle of the night to see if you are alive after the alarm went off and they found you fast asleep even though the house was surrounded by the local police who had nearly broken the front door down and the alarm was blaring at a deafening level.  Thank you 3M Aviation-quality Ear Plugs.
  • Share Your Photos AFTER You Get Back Home-
    Al Couture
    Flickr photo – rayand

     Yeah right, that would kinda defeat the purpose of ‘sharing’ the fabulous places you are visiting without your loser friends back home.  Funny word ‘sharing’ when used like that.  Wouldn’t ‘shamelessly bragging about’ be more accurate?  Still, nothing gives those kids down the street the green light to stop sexting and break into your home for the real deal without parental supervision than that selfie of you and the guy driving the gondola in Venice.

 

Cover Flickr Photo- fdecomite


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