You could potentially be away from home for weeks if you are traveling, and you do not want to spend the time away worrying about what is going on with your house. You need to take action in order to protect your property and possessions. You should know about a few simple ways to keep your home safe while you are traveling.

Use a Programmable Timer for Lighting

One simple step is to use a programmable timer for the lights in your home. The timers are small and inexpensive devices that will work with most lamps. You can program each timer to turn on at night and then off during the day. You can use two or three to make it look like the family is moving from room to room. Programmable timers give the appearance that someone is home.

Suspend Your Mail Delivery and Inform Police

Mail that builds up is a clear sign that you are away. Ask to have your mail delivery suspend for the length of the trip to stop this from happening. Additionally, call your local police station and let them know you are going away. Police might stop by to check on your home and will be able to better respond to reports involving your unoccupied house.

Get a Modern Security System

Install a modern security system that allows for remote monitoring. The system should have cameras, window sensors and potentially motion detectors. A security system is likely to deter criminals before they even attempt to enter the house. It can also detect fires or smoke. You can monitor a modern system online or from a smartphone app so that you can relax while on vacation. Read Northstar alarm reviews for more details on how you can protect your home while you are away.

Do Not Post Social Media Updates about Traveling

Do not go online and advertise that you are going on vacation. Ask your friends not to mention it online either. Do not post updates as you travel. This is important because criminals today look at social media searching for evidence that homeowners are away. Keep your travels quiet until after you get back.

Put Away Your Valuables

You do not want to leave valuable items out in the open. A burglar looking at your house might be able to see valuables from a distance through closed curtains or blinds. You want to put away as much as possible. This should include electronics like laptops or expensive computers. Remove anything that looks like gold or jewelry. Place these items in a closet where they cannot be seen and are difficult to find for maximum safety.

Put up Motion-Activated Outdoor Lights

An effective way to protect your home while you are traveling is to put up motion-activated lights outside of your house. These lights should be installed above entry doors, garage doors and around windows on the first floor. You can even put lights around your property such as at the end of a driveway. The lights will activate if a criminal gets close. This will often drive burglars away.

Tell Your Neighbors

A final step is to tell your trusted neighbors that you are traveling. You want them to know that any activity at your house is not your family. Neighbors can be very effective at detecting problems before criminals strike. Your neighbors can also help to make it look like you are home by doing things like moving garbage cans in and out on trash pickup days. Always let you neighbors know and ask them to check on your house periodically.

Do not assume that locked doors and closed shades are enough to protect your home. Criminals actively seek out houses that look unoccupied and that are undefended. You need to take steps today to secure your house so that everything remains safe while you are traveling.

Image credit: Home Security Assessment by ansel nobel, on Flickr