Home Safety Tips for Winter Vacationers


Photo courtesy of Jo-Ann Routledge

This is the time of year when many take a break from our Canadian Winter and seek warmer climates.

To ensure that you leave and enjoy your vacation with ease of mind, you will need to take some consideration into keeping your home safe from burglary and other types of damage.

In this first part of a two part series, we’ll look at ways to be proactive to prevent burglary and vandalism.

It’s important to make your home appear continuously occupied and not vacant.  Short of installing a fire and burglary system; consider some of the following:

  1. Arrange for a trusted friend, neighbor or family member to keep an eye on your home. Inform them of your departure and arrival dates and leave them a phone number where you can be reached and spare set of keys.
  2. Further to this, have them check the inside of your property on a regular basis.
  3. Suspend your newspaper and mail delivery. If this doesn’t bode well with you, then have the neighbor or friend collect them for you.
  4. Your window treatments should look natural, not drawn all the time.
  5. Ensure your driveway and walkways are clear of snow. If you leave your car behind, have someone clean that off too or have your neighbor park their car in your driveway if you’re taking yours.
  6. Make sure all your doors and windows are locked and secure; remember the garage!
  7. Store valuables that you are not taking with you in a safe deposit box or other secure location offsite.
  8. This is extremely important: DO NOT POST YOUR VACATION AND TRAVEL PLANS ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITES.  You have basically told everyone your home will be unoccupied; people who you do not want to be in the know.  Are you that confident in your security settings on your social media sites? Wait until you come back from vacation to share your adventures!
  9. Set your lights on timers in various rooms, going on and off different times each day.
  10. Consider installing motion sensor lights outside, in the front and back.
  11. Ensure that your current alarm system is in proper working order.
  12. You may want to advise your local police department that your property will be vacant and leave emergency numbers.

A few simple proactive measures like these can be helpful in the prevention of burglary to your home and property.