Are you going out of town this holiday season? Many Tulsa homeowners may be planning to travel to visit family or friends this time of year, but before you go, there are a few simple things you can do to keep your Tulsa home safe while you’re away.
The objective is to not give the appearance that you’re gone. Thus, while you may have a home security system, you can also do little things to make your home less appealing to burglars.
- Keep up the lawn care. – Interestingly, having regular Tulsa lawn maintenance and landscaping will help your home look like you never left. We’ve all seen houses where the lawn is not mowed, and we may think that there’s either no one living there or they’re on vacation. Thus, when you’re gone, keeping your lawn mowed, your leaves raked, and your snow shoveled will give the appearance that you’re home while also making your property tidier and much nicer to come home to.
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed. – Burglars love things to hide behind, so an overgrown tree or shrub next to a window creates the perfect hiding spot. Thus, try to keep windows and doors visible by regularly trimming trees, shrubs, and hedges.
- Put your lights on timers. – Programming your interior lights to turn on and off using a timer is another good way to make your home look like everything’s normal. Having your home lights come on for a few hours in the evening will keep up the appearance of a normal routine. Motion sensor lights for your outdoor landscape can also help deter thieves.
- Stop your mail and newspapers. – Having a pile of mail or periodicals by your door is of course going to make your home look vacant. You can put your mail on hold at the post office for up to 30 days. Have your newspaper put on hold as well. But there may still be other packages that are delivered to your home, so have a neighbor or friend stop by regularly while you’re gone to pick these up.
- Hire a house sitter. – The simplest way to give the appearance that your home isn’t vacant is to have a friend or neighbor stay there while you’re on vacation. If you have pets, a pet sitter can also be useful, not only in taking care of your pets while you’re gone, but also by checking on your house.
- Tell a trusted neighbor you’ll be gone. – If you don’t have a house or pet sitter staying, let a trusted neighbor or two know when you’ll be gone and ask them to stop by periodically to check on your home and pick up any flyers or items left at your home. You may even leave a copy of your house key with them for emergencies. They may also be able to pull your garbage or recycling receptacles out on trash day to make everything look normal.
- Unplug electronics. – Turning off and unplugging electronics and appliances like your home computer, television, coffee pot and even your garage door can save you money, prevent a house fire, and, by turning off your garage door, prevent thieves from breaking in.
- Keep valuables away from windows. – Make sure your big screen television or computer isn’t plainly visible from outside your home. You may want to walk around your house to see what is visible from outside.
- Make sure everything is locked. – In the hustle and bustle of vacation packing, you may forget to lock all the windows and doors. Make sure every entrance to your home is secure, including sliding glass doors to your patio. You can help secure these further by placing dowel rods or poles in the slats when you leave. Advertise and activate your home security and surveillance system. Walter T. Shaw, a former master thief, told MSN Money that alarm system warning signs and decals should be placed in the backyard where thieves are most likely to case out and try to break-in your home. These warning signs can prevent thieves from thinking your home is an easy target.
- Be careful about what you share. – While today’s world shares everything online, sharing when you will be on vacation may not be the best thing to post on Facebook. Thieves can check up on you on social media platforms and may easily be able to find out when you will be gone just from what you post. Shaw also noted that many people often casually talk about their vacation plans with people they come across at the grocery store or mechanic shop. Be careful about what sensitive information you share online as well as what you share with strangers or people you may not know well.
To have the best vacation this year, make sure your home is secure and still gives the appearance that you’re home even if you’re far away.