Keeping a Safe Home While You’re Away

travelIt’s that special time of year we’ve all been planning for. No, not Christmas. I’m talking about the Victoria Day long weekend. The first long weekend of the summer when cottagers open their cottages for the season, outdoorsy types pack up their tents and head to a campground,  and travellers fly to sunny destinations.

It’s the time of year that we  begin to plan for the upcoming long weekends and extended vacations during the summer months. With all the excitement around planning these trips, it’s easy to forget that while we’re away, we leave behind our home and valued possessions. We forget to prepare ourselves for mishaps that can happen while we’re enjoying our vacay.

To keep your home safe, here are some things to keep in mind and a few tips you can add to your pre-vacation to do list.

jewelry storage

Secure your valuables

It’s always advised not to bring valuables while travelling. Things like jewelry and expensive or irreplaceable items should be left at home. But while they’re left at home, make sure they are hidden away. This will help you mitigate losses in the event of a break-in or major loss. So don’t leave your diamond studs or watch collection in obvious spots like a dresser drawer or a jewelry box. Instead, keep it locked up or in a hidden area of your home that’s more out of the way. Same goes for laptops, tablets and any other gadgets you would hate to loose. Also, if you live in a house, keep your blinds and curtains closed so potential intruders can’t scope out your pad and investigate which valuables would be up for grabs if they did break in.

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Falsify your presence

Not totally like in Home Alone, but there are things you can do to make it seem like someone is home, which will ensure burglars steer clear. By setting your exterior and interior lights on a timer you can create the illusion that your home is occupied. You can also do the same with your TV.

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Redirect your mail

If you’re taking an extended vacation you can redirect your mail or put in on hold until your return. Nothing screams empty home like an over flowing mailbox. You can also ask a neighbour to check your mailbox every few days and hold on to your mail until your return, assuming you like your neighbour. This also ensures that there is someone watching over your property, so let your neighbour know that you are going away.

house guest

Consider a house sitter

Consider having a family member or a friend stay at your place while you’re away. It may seem like a major inconvenience but if you live nearby or have a home in a central location, it could turn into a fun getaway for your house sitter. This is is also a great option if you have pets and prefer not to board them. Just remember to make them feel like they’re guests and not hired help. A well-stocked fridge and wine is a must!

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Notify your property manager

If you live in a condo and plan to be away for more than just a few days, it’s a good idea to let your property manager know and provide them with alternative contact information. Remember that in a condo you live in close proximity to your neighbours as well as common elements that may cause an emergency situation. A small leak can end up flooding three units below you if it’s overlooked.

travel photo

Don’t overshare on social media

Ok, this is a tough one. We all know that if it’s not Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, it didn’t happen. If you’re tempted to post vacation photos or update your status, keep it vague. Don’t share details like your departure date and how long you will be away. Also check your profiles and privacy and security settings to protect your information from the internet trolls. If you’re tempted to update your photos as soon as you take them, it’s a much better idea to wait and post upon your return.

Have a fantastic long weekend guys! Happy Victoria Day!

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