Whether your Poconos home is a vacation home or your full-time residence, there may be times when you’ll be away for longer periods of time. The approaching holiday season is one of those times when your home may be empty for days on end. A few simple precautions can help ensure that your home will be protected—even when no one is home. Here are 6 ways to keep your home safe when you are away for the holidays.
Preparing for Two Kinds of Potential Problems
If you're expecting to be away from your Poconos home this holiday season, there are two different kinds of issues you need to consider to protect your home. First of all, you'll want to make sure your house is adequately protected against the elements. Second, you'll want to take a few steps to protect your home against intruders who might take advantage of your absence. Let's look at a few ways to take precautions for each of these situations.
Protection Against the Elements
It’s no fun to come home from a holiday vacation to find damage from the winter weather. Here are some ways you can avoid that.
1. Keep it Cool but Not Cold. It’s smart to turn your thermostat down to conserve energy. Why heat your home if no one is there? Keep in mind, however, that it can get pretty cold in the Poconos during the holiday season, so leave the temperature warm enough to keep indoor pipes from freezing. Setting the thermostat at about 55 degrees is usually adequate for that purpose.
2. Double-check Your Fall Prep If you’ve already prepared your home for the fall, you’re ahead of the game. If you’re not sure whether or not you’ve done everything you should, check out this helpful article on how to prepare your Poconos home for fall. You’ll find plenty of tips for making sure your home is ready for winter both inside and out.
Protection against Intruders
The holidays may be a fun family time for a lot of us, but some people may take advantage of empty homes to break in. Consider these tips before you head out on your holiday excursion so that your home stays safe.
3. Store Your Garbage Cans in the Garage: Empty garbage cans sitting or lying outside are a signal that nobody is home. Don’t advertise your absence
4. Discontinue Newspaper Delivery: A stack of newspapers in your driveway or on your porch is another sign that nobody is home. Similarly, flyers stuck to your front door or mailbox tell potential intruders you’re gone. Ask your neighbors to check for or packages left at your front door. You may also want to suspend mail service so that you don’t have an overflowing mailbox. That will also protect you from mail theft.
5. Leave Some Lights On: You don’t have to have all of the lights in your home blazing, but it’s a good idea to have timers on some indoor and outdoor lights. These days, you can even turn things off and on from your phone. Change up the timing so that it’s not predictable. You may even want to leave a radio playing. If you have a personal home device (such as an Amazon Echo) you can use that. Again, you can turn that off and on from your smartphone.
6. Additional Precautions: You may want to ask a friend or neighbor to park in your driveway occasionally. It’s a simple way to suggest that someone is home—and perhaps has visitors. You can also arrange to have snow removal while you’re gone. A driveway full of snow is a giveaway that nobody is home. And finally, you may want to check with your local police to see if they offer any kind of watch program for your area.