January is often a time to make travel plans. In fact, the winter months are quite possibly the most traveled; holiday visits to family members aside, some of us just simply need to get away and enjoy a little warmth in the sunny south. So if all the shoveling, ice scraping and bundling has got you down, it might be time for you to pack those bags!
With all the excitement of travel plans, we mustn’t forget to consider the safety of our homes. Especially for “snowbirds”, there are periods of time where we might not be home for weeks at a time. As part of travel preparation, we should make certain that our homes are safe while we are away. It’s important to keep a few significant safety precautions front of mind when planning out your getaways, beyond the routine locking of your doors. Creating the illusion that someone is home is key.
A few tips to keep your home safe while away:
- Set your lights on a timer so that your home is never in complete darkness. “You can also set the television and radio on a timer to create the typical noise and flickering lights of an average family home at night”.
- Arrange for a snow removal. Whether it’s a neighbour, a close friend or a snow removal service, this is an important part of keeping up the illusion that someone is home.
- Have someone check your mailbox regularly. An alternative to this would be to forward your mail. Canada Post has mail forwarding programs so that, if you’re away from your home for long periods of time, you can “rest easy, knowing you’re not missing important mail”.
- Invite a close friend or family member stay at your home while you are on vacation. Especially if you have pets, if you have someone you absolutely trust, this can be an awesome way to keep your home safe and save money on kennel or animal boarding.
Traveling over the winter months should be something that you look forward to, stress-free (at all costs); and it’s doable if you plan accordingly and are diligent in taking the necessary precautions toward safeguarding your home. Happy travels!