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Keep your home safe while away for the holidays

For all the fun the holiday season brings, if you’ll be traveling away from home you may have some added stress. There’s a lot to prepare before that fun begins. You’ve got to arrange transportation, make sure pets are taken care of and, of course, double check that all the gifts and goodies are packed. But in all the hustle and bustle of preparing for a holiday away from home, one of the most important things to consider is the safety of your home while you’re away.

Follow these tips before hitting the road to ensure your home is safe and your mind at peace:

  • Lock all doors and windows. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it could easily be forgotten – especially with smaller windows around the house.
  • Make a list of where you will be staying and provide emergency contact numbers. Leave the list with a trusted family member, friend or neighbor, so they’ll know how to get a hold of you if necessary.
  • Hold your mail and newspaper delivery. One of the biggest tip-offs to burglars that you’re not home is piled up newspapers on your front step. If you’d rather not have your mail and newspapers held, give someone you trust a house key and have them bring in the mail and paper each day that you’re gone.
  • Close your curtains so that no one can see inside your home.
  • Purchase light timers for any exterior Christmas lights and for a few different rooms around your house. Have them go on and off at random times, so it appears that you are at home. You may even want to set your TV to turn on at a set time. Even with your curtains closed, anyone outside will still see the light shining from inside your home.
  • Check your answering machine regularly while you’re away, or have that entrusted person check it and take messages for you. Also, an unanswered phone is a dead giveaway that no one’s home. Set your phone’s ringer to off or silent while you’re gone.
  • If you have a security company, notify them that you will be away. Also make sure that all fire or burglary alarms you may have are set and will work properly.
  • Save energy by unplugging any devices not in use while you’re on vacation, including microwaves, computers, televisions or other electronics.
  • Make your home look lived-in by asking a neighbor to park their car in your driveway while you’re gone.


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