It’s impossible to be home 24/7. Between work and travel and family commitments, homeowners are pulled away more than ever. And while these experiences are, often, positive and productive, it’s important to consider the safety and security of your home—specifically, how safe your property is when you’re not home.
The good news? Safeguarding your home is easier than ever if you take a few simple steps before you head out.
#1. Put lights on timers
Scan any street and, often, it’s obvious who’s home and who’s not. To help curb attention to your property, consider putting lights on timers. This will instantly make your home look alive and active, and may deter outside intruders.
#2. Lock your door and set your alarm
While it should go without saying, don’t forget to lock up and set your alarm. Seven percent of people—and one in eight people 65+—report not locking their doors regularly, instantly leaving their home more susceptible to break-ins. It’s simple but it’s a critical step, especially considering 70% of intruders enter directly through a door.
#3. Have a friend or neighbor check in
If you’re traveling for a more extended period of time, be sure to have a neighbor or friend check in on your property occasionally, and alert you to anything that looks or feels out of place. For any prying eyes, this could signal that someone is—and could be—home, detering a future break-in. At the very least, though, you’ll be able to spot issues before you get home, and alert household staff, doormen, concierges and other staff on the ground that you need assistance.
#4. Have mail held
Planning to travel for more than a few days? Considering having your mail held at the post office. You can schedule mail holds online up to 30 days in advance, then retrieve packages and letters as soon as you’re back. Again, this is a very simple pre-travel step, but it’s an important one. An overflowing mailbox immediately signals that you aren’t home and haven’t been for awhile. Even if you live in a building, stacks of mail with the doorman or concierge is a tell-tale sign of an extended getaway, which could make you an easy target.
The alternative? When your friend or neighbor checks in—see tip #3—ask them to collect the mail. If you have household staff who are still reporting during your absence, simply ask them to pick up your mail and put it somewhere safe and out of the way.
#5. Secure your vehicles
Heading out for a few days or, even, a few weeks? If you have a driveway or garage, it’s fine to leave your car there. And if you park on the street? Opt for a short-term space at a local garage or indoor parking facility or, even, ask a friend if you can park in their driveway or garage.
However, if you’re planning to be away for more than that, consider more secure options. Live in a luxury building with a private garage? Ask your doorman or parking attendant to check in from time to time. Otherwise, investigate longer-term storage or parking options. Many airports have off-premise facilities that are easily accessible via shuttle or taxi.
#6. Maintain household staff
If you have regular household staff—housekeepers, butlers, cooks or residence managers, for example—opt to have them continue working, even if it’s just an abbreviated schedule. Not only will this ensure your home is looked after when you’re gone, but if anything’s needed while you’re away—someone to let in the decorator, mail forwarded to your hotel, quick security checks—it’s easy to accommodate.
#7. Skip the social…
While it’s very tempting to share your amazing vacation pics, recommendations and must-tries with your social network, remember that thieves often troll Facebook and Instagram to identify empty homes. Sure, your inner circle is likely safe and secure, but if your profile is public or if a friend of a friend has not-so-great intentions, you could put yourself in a bad position, and wind up inadvertently inviting trouble. Do yourself and your family a favor and save the posts for after you return.
#8. Tap into Elite’s residential management services
Elite Custom Concierge’s flexible, versatile residence property management services in NYC include a variety of options for every household and every budget. Whether it’s running errands while you’re away, checking in on your home, cars or valuables, taking in mail or, simply, holding onto your keys in case of an emergency, our expert services are designed to support you, your family and your peace of mind. Our goal is to help you enjoy your time away, without worrying about life at home. Get in touch to learn more and to schedule your part-time or a la carte residence property management in NYC servicing.
These simple pre-travel to-dos will keep your home safe and protected. Focus on maintaining eyes and ears on your property throughout your time away, and opt for turnkey methods that make your home look and feel occupied—which, instantly, makes it less appealing to thieves and burglars. Contact us for more must-tries, and to get started with our residence property management in NYC services.