Home Safety While You Are Away

A list of simple suggestions to make your home look lived-in while you’re gone.


You want your home to look as if you aren’t gone while you’re away. Taking these precautions will help.

  • Arrange to have mail, newspapers, packages and flyers picked up daily.
  • Ask the sheriff or police to check your home periodically.
  • Leave your itinerary and telephone numbers with the person caring for your house.
  • Have someone mow and water the lawn regularly in summer; in winter have someone keep walkways and driveway shoveled.
  • If you have a second car, park it in your driveway or ask a neighbor to park there.

Follow these simple suggestions to make your home look lived in while you’re gone

  • Arrange timing devices to turn your interior and exterior lights on and off (make sure ground-floor timers aren’t visible to someone looking through a window). Hook timers to your radio and television, too.
  • Synchronize all timers so they go on and off at different times to give your home a lived-in look.
  • Ask a neighbor to come in twice a day to open and close your draperies. If that’s impossible, leave your drapes half open.
  • Lock all windows and doors (dead-bolt locks are best for doors).
  • Immobilize sliding glass doors.
  • Leave garbage in your trash cans if you store them outside.
  • Arrange for someone to put a trash can in front of your house on pickup day.
  • Take valuables with you or store them in a safe-deposit box or at a friend’s house.
  • Adjust your thermostat to save energy while you’re gone.
  • Switch water heater to “pilot” if you will be away for more than a couple of days.
  • Check all appliances to ensure they’re off.
  • Unplug any fixtures and major appliances that will not be in use while you’re away.