Post # 1
So, quick question. Primarily because a good friend’s home was broken into about a month ago, and so I’m trying to be extra-cautious.
We’re going to be out of state the end of this month. Typically anytime we go out of town overnight, we hide any electronics staying behind (laptops, etc.). I’m looking into getting light timers, so that various lamps around the house will be on throughout the day and into the evening. There are cheap varieties available at Home Depot.
Something I hadn’t thought about was hiding jewelry — the friend mentioned above stores her jewelry in her bathroom, and the theives didn’t touch it. I have a big plastic container underneath the sink clearly labeled “TAMPONS” — if our home was broken into, I can imagine that’s the last place they would look for valuables. Prime spot to store jewelry not traveling with us :).
So I wanted to ask, what are your best suggestions for protecting your home while you’re away? Or just anything you’re sure to do before you leave?
As a final note, we do have a friend who will be coming by once a day to feed our cats, so at least the house will look occupied for a short period each afternoon.
Post # 3
We really dont do too much actually. Other than making sure all the doors and windows are locked. The only time we let the neighbors know was when we went away for our honeymoon, since it was almost 2 weeks. We put a hold ont he mail/newspapers so it doesn’t pile up. But thats about it.
Post # 4
Don’t post on facebook that you’re going on vacation. A little piece of me dies every time I see somoene advertise that their house will be vacant.
Post # 5
Lock everything and close the curtains, leave a light on, hold mail at USPS, and hide any valuables, especially those with sentimental value like jewelry from my mother. Make sure any documents with sensitive info are shredded or well-hidden and there’s no credit card applications or bank statements in the trash. I also leave some obvious sign we have dogs (even though we leave them with family), like a squeaky toy or a leash on the porch.
An interesting tip I got once was to hide a sum of money someplace kind of obvious. If a thief really wants to get into your house then s/he probably will, and they will often not leave until they’ve found some cash. They could tear your house apart in the process, but if you leave like $200 someplace semi-obvious, they may assume they’ve found your stash and leave without searching any harder for your other hidden cash or valuables.
Post # 6
We live in a relatively safe city, in a safe apartment complex (on the third floor), so, nothing like you do. We clean, do dishes, vacuum, put dirty laundry in the basket, clean the cat boxes, make sure the tub faucet is running, take out the trash/recyclables, and get rid of any food that is going to go bad while we’re gone. Future Mother-In-Law and another friend check on our cats, feed them, and clean the boxes while we’re gone, too, and she’ll usually grab our laundry and wash/fold it for us.
Post # 7
Depends on how long we are going to be gone, over night weekend trip not a whole lot just make sure the cat has food and water. If gone more than weekend say like a week or so. Cat goes to my parents. Make sure plants are watered. Make sure all windows/doors are locked Shades drawn. Have Brother-In-Law come over to water outdoor plants if in summer and hot out. Turn down AC/heat…
Post # 8
Have your friend who is coming to feed the cat pick up your mail and newspapers daily. I know that lots of burglers can tell if someone is out of town if there is a pile of newspapers or a bunch of mail in the mailbox. Hide your jewelry and leave a lamp on, but close all your curtains or shades so people can’t see in and tell no one is there. We also leave a car in the driveway (as opposed to the garage) to make it look like someone is there, but this might not apply to you if you live in a neighborhood where there are NEVER cars in driveways.
I always take out the trash and do the dishes, primarily because I don’t want my house smelling terrible when I get back.
Post # 9
We really don’t do much.
We take out the trash and do the dishes and take the dog to family or the kennel.
Then we make sure the doors and windows are locked and we’re on our way. We don’t bother moving or hiding anything inside the house.
Post # 10
I did look up an article that claimed 60% of home burgalries aren’t forced entry, indicating the house was left unlocked??
We have a deadbolt lock on both doors. We always lock the house, even if we’re just going on a run through the neighborhood!
Post # 11
Well…considering that we almost never leave the house unattended, but with the 99 Boys and our ever capable and completely adored house/dog sitting couple in residence, I always make sure they have my brother’s phone number, he’s got a spare key, a couple hundred dollars in Oh Shit Money, and a list of good take out places nearby.
On those rare and exhausting occasions that we do pack up all three dogs and get out of town, I make sure I paid my insurance premium for the month, double check that every door & window is closed and locked, over-feed the cat and figure if someone is desperate/dumb enough to break in and steal things….they need it a hell of a lot more than I do.
Post # 12
ALl above but don’t forget to unplug your washer/dryer and any other appliances.. Turn down your hot water heater to “vacation” mode. Never know when something could burst-either into flames or water.