Dympna Fay-Hart
Serving Chicago Area Sellers & Buyers

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How to Leave Your Home Alone - 6 Tips

When you are gone from your home for more than a few days, it is important to protect yourself from potential break ins, fires and other safety issues.  There are several things you can do to reduce your risk and react faster if something DOES happen.

1. Know your neighbors.  Get to know your immediate neighbors on either side of you and/or across your street.  They can provide a lookout and if you really trust them you can give them a key to your house or a code to your garage door opener (either temporary or permanent).    You can watch out for each other.  Some areas have neighborhood watch groups that meet regularly and keep an eye on each other’s houses all the time.

2. Tell relatives.  If you have relatives living nearby, you can ask them to check on your home once in awhile.  Give them a key so they can go inside and check the kitchen (stove, gas, refrigerator, furnace, etc.) the bathrooms, anything electric that’s plugged in, the locks and doors and windows.

3. Have some you trust “House Sit”.  This is usually not a bad idea if you’re going to be gone more than a couple of weeks.  They actually move in for some or all of the time you’ll be gone.  You will be paying for their housing, utilities, etc. so many times payment is not necessary. 

4. Inform your local Police Precinct or local Officers.  In big cities, this may not be feasible but in smaller areas where the police are a bit more intimate, they may provide the ability for you to list your home on a “Vacation List’ so local Officers can do a drive by once in awhile.  It makes their jobs easier if they are informed.

5. Install web cameras throughout key areas of your home.  It’s relatively easy to have cameras installed at your front door, back door, inside the garage, bedrooms or anywhere else strategic and then monitor them through a website online.  You can also have an app alert you with some security systems such as Vivent or ADT so you can call the Police or Fire Department yourself from where you are.

6. DON’T post on Facebook or other social media PUBLICLY about your travels.  Posting Publicly gives anyone access to your pictures and comments so if you’re thousands of miles away posting pictures of Rio de Janeiro, potential burglars will know they have time to break in while you are gone.  Also be careful about “checking in” places on sites like Yelp!, Foursquare/Swarm or Facebook itself.  You could post to specific people on Facebook to be more protected, but it’s best if you don’t post your Vacation pics until you return home.

These are just a few things to consider when you plan to be away from your home for an extended period of time.  Taking these steps will help prevent bad things from happening so you can enjoy your vacation or travels more.