Keep Your Home Safe When You Travel!

Your bags are packed, the kids are bouncing off of the walls, (or maybe you are), and the car’s packed. But have you gotten your home ready for your vacation? Better safe than sorry is always the motto to remember before leaving on vacation, whether it’s just for a weekend, a week, or a couple months. Keeping your home safe is paramount in all of our minds & knowing you’ve done everything in your power to keep it safe will help you relax and love your vacation. We don’t want to worry you, but at Compass Homes, Columbus custom home builders, we know what can happen. These tips should help you have a worry-free vacation!


  • Nothing signals no one’s home more than a snow-covered unmarked driveway, an unmowed lawn, or droopy flowers. Hire someone to shovel, mow, or water, depending on the season.
  • If you’ll be gone on a trash pick up day, ask a neighbor or friend to take your trash cans out & put them away. This shows it’s business as usual at your home.
  • Stop your mail & newspapers or arrange for it to be picked up. (Tell your mailperson you’ll be gone…they’re great folks to watch out for your home.)
  • Have someone check your porch for fliers and remove them so they don’t sit there for longer than a day.
  • If you’re expecting packages alert a neighbor or contact the delivery service to hold your packages until you return.
  • Put some exterior lights on timers or leave a porch light on.
  • Let neighbors know you’ll be gone and for them to keep an eye on your home. We know someone that left their garage door open. Luckily the neighbor noticed and was able to close it.
  • If you’re really worried and are going to be gone for a longer time period, most police stations will do a periodic drive by if you contact them to let them know you’ll be gone.
  • Don’t leave that spare key in the fake rock. Burglars know all of the tricks. If you have to leave one outside, do it in a place no one would think of.
  • Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway occasionally to show someone’s there.
  • If no one will need to access your home through the garage while you’re gone, lock it from the inside or turn it off.


  • Put interior lights on timers. This is the most effective way to keep your home looking normal. No timers? Leave a hall light, kitchen light, or another central light on, but don’t leave lights on in all rooms. That doesn’t look normal. For the tech savvy, you can control your lights from an app on your phone, giving you the ability to control the times that lights go on & off.
  • Turn off & unplug the stereo, computers, TVs, kitchen appliances, and other electronics or be sure they are off & plugged in to surge protectors.
  • Don’t post on SM where you’re going or while you’re on vacation. That could alert possible burglars to the fact you aren’t home. Even though you think you only have friends & family viewing your sites, it opens the possibility for someone that may not have good motives to see your posts.
  • Consider hiring a pet sitter instead of boarding animals to keep your home looking lived in.
  • Really worried? Hire a house sitter to stay in your home while you’re gone.
  • Set heat or air to lowest (heat) setting or highest (air) setting, controlling your usage while gone. A smart thermostat can be programmed to do this.
  • If you have an alarm system, contact your alarm company to let them know the dates you’ll be gone and who else can be contacted in case of emergency. Leave a key & the code with that trusted neighbor or friend.
  • Double check window & door locks, the stove knobs, and refrigerator doors. Any of these can be accidentally left open or on, even if you checked them the day before.
  • Keep window coverings as you normally would, since closed blinds for several weeks can signal a criminal that you aren’t there. However, move any valuables away from plain sight. How many times have you seen a computer through the window of a home office?
  • Going to be gone during really cold weather? Ask a neighbor or friend to check your faucets for any leaks.
  • You could shut off the main water supply if you’re going to be gone for awhile, to eliminate the possibility of leaking or burst pipes. The same goes for the hot water tank.
  • Consider taking photos of your valuables, create a home inventory, and keep it updated. If the worst should happen, you’ll have a record of everything in your home.
  • Keep valuable, deeds, wills, etc. in a fire-proof safe or container.

A vacation is a wonderful break from the busyness of our lives and a way to reconnect with family or good friends. We see the care & concern neighbors have for each other everywhere we build custom homes. Get to know your neighbors, watch out for each other, and keep your homes safe. We’re here & ready to build you your new home.