We all love getting away on vacation, but there can be a long list of things to prepare. Here’s a helpful checklist to get you ready and improve your home security while you’re away.
Home security checklist:
- Lock your doors and windows. This includes garage doors, pet doors, backyard gate latches and anything accessible on the ground level. If you have a keypad access garage door, disconnect it before you leave.
- Leave a car in the driveway. Anything that makes it look like someone is home is a good idea.
- Don’t broadcast you’re away. Avoid posting online about your vacation until after you get back, so potential thieves don’t know when you’re away.
- Have family, friends, or a trusted neighbour check on the house. This is a good idea for any of time spent away. You can also have them collect any mail.
- Set your outside lights on a timer or motion detector. Keep the lights on to deter potential thieves
- Maintain your property. A well-kept property makes it look like someone is home, so clean up before you leave or ask someone to help maintain it while you’re away.
- Secure your valuables. Leave important documents and expensive items like jewelry in a safe or safety deposit box at your bank.
- Never leave an extra key outside. While it might come in handy, a hidden key can be a major security risk, especially if you’re away for an extended time.
- If you have an alarm system, set it. Remember to activate your alarms as you leave.
Home preparation checklist:
- Unplug large electronics like TVs, stereos, or desktop computers. This can help you save some electricity while you’re gone and protect your electronics from possible outages/surges.
- Eat or donate perishable food. Consider donating or eating any food that might expire while you’re away.
- Account for your mail. Put a hold on all your mail and packages or have a friend, family member, or trusted neighbour collect your mail for you while you’re away.
- Save money on electricity. Set your furnace and water heater on their lowest settings. Just remember to turn them back on or you might have a cold shower!
Booking travel? Use a BC licensed travel agent
Ensure that your travel plans are protected by booking with a licensed BC travel agent. In BC, travel agents must be licensed and meet certain requirements. You also have access to extra protections if you don’t get the travel services you bought – but only if you booked with a licensed travel agent! Check if a travel agent is licensed with us by looking them up on our website.
Where to go for more information
Safety and preparedness aren’t something we oversee but there are other resources that you can check out. The Government of Canada shares lots of information about being prepared for emergencies and other scenarios on the Get Prepared website. Learn more about keeping your home safe while your away on Get Prepared’s webpage on the topic.
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About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific sectors and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.