Friday, July 9

Home Security (when you're away)

I've been on plenty of vacations since buying my house last August--I even went on one the same week I moved into the house. However, this last week was the first time I left my house unsupervised during a longer vacation. Usually I'm not much of a worrier, but for the first time I understood the concern many home owners feel leaving for an extended vacation.

Dozens of thoughts were flying through my mind: Did I remember to turn down the A/C? What if someone breaks in? I hope I don't come home to find a pipe burst or something! Did I unplug/turn off everything? Those thoughts added to the normal packing concerns and last minute errands meant that I was a little frazzled when I got to the airport--then my flight was delayed.

Just so you understand, normally when I go on vacation my brother is home or my dad house-sits for me. Dad babysits my dog, checks on the house and maybe even stays overnight. I'm not usually gone but 2-3 nights at a time. This time though the whole family headed to Ohio for a longer trip. No brother at home, no Dad to house-sit. My mom and grandmother promised to drop by to water the plants one of the days, but I planned to be gone for six days. Plenty of time for something to go wrong.

One thing that gave me peace of mind was my home security system. Last fall I decided to have the pre-installed security system updated and monitored. After some research and advice from other homeowners I chose TNT. The company is local, has received several awards in their field and screens ALL employees (including those at the call center). I've been very impressed with their service on the few occasions the alarm has been set off (always by accident). Knowing that if someone busted open my doors or entered the house the alarm would go off was comforting. It still isn't the same as knowing someone is present to deter disaster though.

Here are a few suggestions from my experience for ways to prepare for leaving on vacation:
  • Install a monitored home security system
  • Put a hold on mail and newspaper deliveries
  • Leave at least one exterior light on
  • Have a friend or family member check on the house or stay overnight
  • Let a neighbor you trust know you are leaving town
  • Find someone to take care of your pet(s) or plants
Needless to say I came home to an intact (if somewhat messy) home after a activity-packed trip. It's good to be back!

Do you have any precautions you take before leaving for vacation?


  1. Caitlin, I love this blog! You are a very engaging writer. Here's something I learned recently while putting my engagement announcement in the paper: it's a bad idea to put your actual wedding date in the paper, especially if your wedding is fairly soon...because there are people that scan those dates to figure out when people won't be home!

  2. Good point Sara! That also brings to mind the articles I've read warning against announcing upcoming vacations on social media sites like Facebook (for the same reason). Have you read any of those? Thanks for the feedback!


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