Everyone deserves a getaway occasionally, a break from the daily routine and a chance for adventure or relaxation. You’ll get more enjoyment out of your getaway if you know you’ve taken a few steps to make your home more secure.

Water is the biggest risk to your home
Leaks and pipe bursts can happen anytime – but if you’re away for a week, imagine the damage that can take place during that time or before a neighbor notices water draining from under your front door. If your home will be unoccupied for more than a day, it’s always a good idea to turn off the main water valve in your home. If you’re not sure where the valve is, stop reading now and go figure out which valve controls all the water flow in your home. It’s important to know even for mishaps that happen when you are home, like a burst pipe.

Believe it or not, most burglaries happen between 10:00 and 3:00 PM. If you think about it, that’s when many people are at work. Indoor and outdoor motion activated cameras can alert you to intruders. Combined with an alarm system, your home can contact authorities if motion or glass breakage occurs. You can even repurpose old cell phones combined with an app that records and sends you an alert for a camera monitoring solution on a budget. In many homes, it’s trivially easy to find a quiet area, perhaps behind the home, to gain entry – even in broad daylight when your neighbors are probably at work as well. An alarm is always recommended with conspicuous signage serving as a deterrent.

Mum’s the word
Social media can be a great way to share your experiences, but it may be a better idea to wait until you’re back home before broadcasting your latest zip-lining adventure in a far-away place. Many of us have “friends” online who we don’t know very well. A casual mention that you’re off in Fiji creates an opportunity for someone to enter your home.

Have a trusted neighbor park a car in your driveway and pick up your mail or newspapers. Use a timer to turn on a light or two automatically. A few simple steps can give the impression that you are home regularly.

As with most things, there’s no way to secure your home in every possible way, but by taking a few extra steps you can prevent most of the risks so you can enjoy your time away.