Having a vacation checklist can provide great assistance to you prior to heading out for that well deserved vacation.
It can also make your vacation go a little better for you, knowing that you have done everything needed to ensure your home is secure.
Your checklist can be made up of many different things but the most important items revolve around ensuring your home will be safe & secure when you are away.
There are many security issues & measures that need to be taken to help ensure your home is not burglarized or vandalized while you & your family are taking your vacation.
You need to make up a vacation checklist with security measures that specifically relates to your home.
Below you will find a list of different things that need to be addressed before heading out on vacation.
Not everything listed below will relate to your particular home.
The list below should provide some assistance to you as you put together a vacation checklist that is specific to the security of your home.
One thing burglars are always looking out for are homes that appear to be vacant. There are several things you may want to do in achieving the important task of making your home look occupied.
There are some things listed below that may help you accomplish this & if so you may want to add them to your own vacation checklist.
• Automatic timers have been around for a long time. It has gotten to the point that with so many folks using them, burglars started looking at their watches to see if any patterns existed in what time certain lights were going on & off.
Having certain lights come on & go off every evening at the exact same time was a dead give away that they were being operated by an automatic timer(s).
Today you can purchase automatic timers for a reasonable price that are a little more advanced than previous timers that have been used.
These more advanced timers will not help burglars that may be casing your home because you can time lights to be turned on & off different times from one day to the next.
Make sure that the automatic timer you do purchase has a small battery backup inside, so if the power goes off in your home it won’t affect the programming you set for the device.
Without the programming being protected not only will the device not work as you intended it to, it may attract the attention of burglars if it starts turning lights on & off in the middle of the day.
Setting up one of these timers to turn on & off certain lights at different times each day is something you may really want to consider adding to your vacation checklist.
Timers can also help in other areas besides operating lights. You can have timers turn your radio & TV on & off at various times, as well as open & closing certain curtains or drapes in your home.
Placing a radio on a timer that is tuned to a station that mainly broadcasts talk programs, can be really effective in making a burglar think there are people in the home.
To make the radio work more effectively, you may need to determine where the best location will be to place it, along with establishing how loud the volume should be.
In deciding on best location & volume for your radio, it is best if you go outside your home and listen to what you can hear & how clear you can hear it.
The voices on the radio need to sound a bit muffled, so an intruder will think what he/she is hearing are voices of people inside the home.
• Having certain things done around your home while you are on vacation is very important so burglars don’t start looking at your home as a place of interest.
All depending on your particular home situation there may be quite a few tasks to be carried out while you are away.
You will need to outline on your vacation checklist who exactly will be responsible for carrying out the various tasks around your home.
Once you inform the different folks as to when there help will be needed, you can check it off your list.
Some tasks could be carried out by friends & neighbors & other tasks you may need to employ someone’s services like mowing your lawn or shoveling your driveway & walkways.
All depending on your relationship with your neighbors, having them cut your grass or shovel your snow may be asking for a little much.
• The nice thing about having a vacation checklist is you won’t have your vacation spoiled by continuously wondering if you did everything that you needed to do before leaving your home.
A vacation checklist is like any other checklist you just keep ticking off the various items on your list as they are completed.
If you are like most folks you are probably a little busy running around taking care of some last minute things prior to leaving on your vacation.
Having a vacation checklist will keep you better organized & it will help remind you that there are certain tasks that can be taken care of prior to those busy days leading up to your vacation.
Unfortunately not all items on your vacation checklist can be taking care of prior to the day you leave for your vacation.
You may want to divide your vacation checklist into two different sections.
The first section of your vacation checklist would consist of all the different tasks that can be completed prior to the day you leave for vacation.
The second section of your vacation checklist would list those things that you need to double check on the day that you leave.
• Making arrangements to have your mail held & your newspaper delivery stopped should only be done if you can not arrange for anyone to pick up your mail & newspaper each day.
The less people you inform that you will be away on vacation the better.
With having you mail held & newspaper stopped for a certain duration, you will be notifying at least 6 individuals who you do not know the exact dates your home will be vacant.
The individual that you notify at the post office to hold your mail will have to inform the person who looks after not sending your mail out & the mail delivery person will have to be advised so no junk mail is delivered.
I think it would also be quite probable that there would be at least one middle person between who you notify about stopping your newspaper & the person who delivers it.
You may want to ask a neighbor if they could pickup your newspaper & mail for you.
You also may want to have your neighbor put out your garbage & take your trash cans back in after the garbage has being picked up.
If you are going to be away for a period of time that takes in more than one garbage pickup day, you may ask your neighbor if they could place one of their garbage cans in front of your home.
In asking your neighbor to help you out, you want to make sure that you tell them that you will be more than willing to return the favor when their vacation rolls around.
• In limiting the number of strangers who will know you will be on vacation, you should not place your home address on any luggage tags.
If you need to put an address on your luggage tags, you may want to consider placing the address of your employer on them.
• You want to check out all the locks on your windows & doors to make sure they are working the way they are designed to work.
This should be looked at a few weeks or a month prior to the day you take your vacation. This will give you enough time to fix or replace any locks that do not work properly.
• If you have a home security system you want to make sure there is no problem with the system a couple of weeks prior to your vacation date.
If your system is being monitored by a central station you need to inform them of the exact time you are leaving for your vacation & when you will be returning home.
You may want to provide them with how you can be contacted in case something happens in your home.
Due to such a large false alarm rate, central monitoring stations will call your home first. This is to see if someone in the home accidentally triggered the alarm before dispatching someone to checkout you home or call police.
If you tell them your home will be vacant for the entire time you are on vacation, they should not waste time with calling your home & dispatch the police to your home immediately.
• The week leading up to your vacation you may want to take a good look around your property to make sure any trees or bushes close to your home's exterior are trimmed up.
Overgrown trees & bushes make excellent cover for any intruder trying to break in.
• You need to ensure that all you outside motion lights are working OK. If you do not have any motion lights you need to think seriously about having a few installed.
Having outside lights on timers is certainly better than nothing but it is not as good as having motion lights.
Motion lights will startle an intruder & once they come on a burglar will usually move away from your home quickly as he/she would be afraid that they will be noticed.
Motion activated lighting will also work much better for you when you are not on vacation, because they will let you know when someone comes around.
• It is very important for you to activate any automatic timers a couple of days prior to leaving for your vacation.
This will give you a chance to observe & make sure they are all working the way you programmed them to work.
• You should make arrangements to have a neighbor's kid or a company come by & cut your grass or clear away any snow from your driveway & walkways.
You may want to make these arrangements at least a couple of weeks ahead of time in case you may have to check around for someone to look after this for you.
I have read an article a while ago that talked about a survey that was conducted using prison inmates.
The inmates were asked to name the top thing that would mostly deter them from breaking into a home.
The number one answer was an alarm system & the second most popular answer was homes that had a dog.
You should consider the following if you own a dog or not. When heading out on your vacation you may want to consider securing a dog chain outside your front entrance along with a dog's water bowl.
Make sure anyone approaching the entrance of your home can see the dogs chain & bowl. You also should ensure that the chain & bowl you use is most suitable for a large dog.
A dog's chain & bowl is an inexpensive purchase to make & it could very likely deter a would be burglar from breaking into your home.
• Making sure that all windows & doors are closed & locked.
• Make sure that the ringers on all telephones are turned off or turned way down. If there are any would-be burglars checking out your home, you don’t want them hearing your telephone continuously ring as it will indicate there is no one home to answer it.
• Whatever you do, make sure you do not change the message on your answering machine informing the caller that you will return their call when you return from vacation.
Some burglars will call a home prior to breaking in to help them determine if anyone is home, & the last thing you want to tell them is you are currently on vacation. You also want to make sure that the volume on your answering machine is turned way down.
• If you have a garage door opener it is best to unplug it before you leave.
• Make sure any garden sheds are locked up along with garden tools that may assist a burglar in breaking into your home.
• Make sure any extension ladders or anything that may help an intruder break into a second story window or skylight is locked away.
• Make sure you close any curtains that may be opened. You may want to have your curtains closed most of the time when you are home.
You don’t want to draw any attention to your home so you don’t want to show any real differences from when you are home & when you are not.
• Last but not least, arm your home security system, lock the door behind you, check off these last two items on you vacation checklist & have a great worry free vacation!
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