Keep Your Home Safe and Secure While Vacationing

Northern VA Home SecurityAs the holiday season approaches, many families plan vacations and trips. Maybe yours is one of them. But leaving your home vacant can open the door to problems.

How can you maintain peace of mind while you travel? Here are our top tips for keeping your home safe while you’re away.
Prep Your Home

Before you leave:

  • Have the post office hold your mail or ask a neighbor to pick it up regularly. A big, messy pile of mail lets criminals know you’re away.
  • Unplug large electrical appliances. This will conserve energy and protect your electronics in case of a power surge. You may also want to buy and install a timer for a few of your lights.
  • Secure your home. Bring your spare key in from its hiding place. Make sure valuables like laptops or jewelry aren’t visible through a window. If your garage door password is easy to guess, change it to something more secure.

Enlist a Neighbor’s Help

A trusted friend or neighbor can do more than collect your mail. Ask nicely and offer to return the favor. Here are some things you might ask him to do:

  • Drive by to check on your house every few days.
  • Feed your pet or water your plants.
  • Mow your lawn if you’ll be away for several weeks.
  • Move your car if needed.

You can leave this person keys to your house and car and your alarm code. You can also give him a copy of your itinerary and emergency contact information.

If you have lots of tasks, consider asking a few different people. Just make sure they know about one another. Doing so will prevent misunderstandings and get everyone on the same page.
Tell the Right People

It’s up to you how many people know you’ll be traveling. It’s a good idea to tell friends, family, and emergency contacts. For longer trips, you may also want to alert the local police or your neighborhood watch program.

On the flip side, be careful not to spread the word of your vacation too widely. Advertising your empty home on your social media or answering machine will keep your friends in the loop. However, it may also tip off criminals to a vulnerable home. Tell the people who need to know in a more private way. You might send them an email or call them on the phone. You can talk up the trip online — and share all your pictures — after you’re back.

About Ashley Leigh

Ashley Leigh is one of the most successful real estate agents in the United States and founder of Linton Hall, Realtors®, the premier real estate company in Prince William County, Virginia. In his book Billion Dollar Agents, Steve Kantor featured Ashley for individually producing well over $2 Billion in career sales selling thousands of homes. Ashley Leigh's innovative marketing programs have been have been written about in Fortune magazine. Additionally, Ashley has been profiled in RISMedia’s Real Estate Magazine and Power Team Report and has been recognized by REALTOR Magazine as one of the Top Sales Agents in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal ranked Ashley as one of America’s Top 20 Realtors in the Nation for his sales production for several years. Connect with Ashley on Google+

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