Are you going for the trip? There's more to consider than packing your luggage. How can you keep your flat or house safe when you are traveling? You have to protect your utilities, prevent burglary, arrange care for your pets and plants, communicate with neighbors and friends. Apply these home security tips to protect your property during your absence.

Tips for securing utilities in your home

While the accidents related to the utilities infrastructure happen rarely, they may cause a significant damages. Perform these simple steps  before you leave to lessen the risk.

  • Turn off your water supply if possible to avoid flooding if one of the pipes breaks.
  • Unplug any electronic hardware like TV or computers from the outlets to protect it from damage in case of the electric surge.
  • Make sure that water in the pipes and solar panels can't freeze during winter. Either empty them before you leave, or keep up the decent temperature at home with the thermostat and heating system.
  • Check your oven and gas heater and make sure you turn them  off before you leave.
  • Empty all the trash cans on your property to avoid the stench.
  • Consider switching off the electricity completely. However, that's a bad idea if any food remains in your fridge!

Home security tips for preventing burglary

Are you worried about the thieves invading your abode? There are a few strategies for improving your home security.

First of all, lock tightly all the doors and windows in your house. Garage and patio entrances are the classic weak spots - make sure you remember to secure them before you leave.

You can pull down the window shades and lock them to make your house safer. However, if you have any live plants indoors, they will suffer with no access to sunlight. The sight of your windows covered alerts any potential thieves that your house is empty. Lack of your car on the driveway at night provides another tell-tale sign of your absence.

Home Security - ThiefCredit: By Villy Fink Isaksen (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

A few security companies offer the protection packages for a few days or weeks. Consider buying such a service for an extra safety if you worry about burglars.

Pretend that your home is still occupied. How can you pull that trick off? Program the lights and TV to  turn on and off automatically with an electronic timer. If you want to make the effects more random, ask your neighbours to do this task instead. They can also collect your post and leaflets to avoid signaling your absence.

Best home security asset: trusted neighbors

Tell your trusted neighbors that you will be away for a while. They can observe your home, notice and react when there's a problem.  Consider giving the spare keys to the neighbor. If the disaster strikes, it's bad enough without the firemen or law enforcement having to break through your door or windows.

Let your next-door neighbor know when you ask someone else to take care of your home. You don't want them to suspect the theft attempt and call the police on your associate going to water your fern!

Make sure that the neighbors have your phone number to contact you in case of an emergency. Remember to send them a postcard or pick up a small gift during your trip to show your appreciation . Good neighbor is a treasure indeed!

Tips for protecting plants at home while you travel

When you secure your home before the absence, you tend to worry about burglars and disasters. Still, there's an issue of plant and animal care to consider as well.

Potted Plants And Window BlindsCredit: W.J.Pilsak [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

As for the plant care, there are two solutions. Self watering pots or automatic watering system can provide enough moisture for your flora. You can buy the installation or  construct DIY system.

There's yet an another way: ask your reliable neighbor or friend to water your plants during your trip.Make sure to give them the suggested schedule, because folks are often overzealous and water the plants too much.

Tips for protecting your pets when you're away

As for animals, you could leave them in the pet hotel. However, that's an expensive solution. Perhaps a friend can take your pet to his home and offer care for a while? Someone can visit your home and care for the animal there as well.

In any case, remember to leave the detailed instructions and necessary supplies for the helper. It would be unfortunate if they got confused about your pet's diet or run out of the cat gravel. Show the helper around and guide through the tasks before you leave to make sure all is clear. Introduce them to your pet while you are present.

More tips to follow before going away

Once you have basic home security issues covered, consider these details to avoid the frustration after you return.

  • Newspapers and magazines. Do you buy a particular gazette and don't want to miss an issue? Ask the friendly newsagent to put away the newspapers for you while you can't pick them up yourself. Perhaps your friend can get them for you when there's a collector series and you are traveling abroad?
  • Films, serials and important events. Is there a serial, sports or cultural event you will be unable to watch but would hate to miss? Check the TV program and prepare to record the show.
  • Phone contact info. When you have an automatic answer function in your telephone, check your recorded message. If it tells the callers they can catch you on the daily basis, it will misinform during your absence. Make sure to give the correct information instead. Will you tell people when or how they can contact you? Perhaps you want them to leave a message instead.

When you are going to be traveling, make sure to protect your utilities from disasters. Secure your house from the burglars. Talk to your trusted neighbours and ask them for help. Arrange the care for your animals and watering for your indoor plants. After you cover all the home security issues, relax and enjoy your pending trip!