This article was first published here at PCFinancial.com.
Ah, summertime and the living is easy. It’s also what makes it easier for our homes to be open to increased risk while sitting unprotected as we head out to the cottage, on road trips or vacations abroad. The last thing we need while on holidays is to worry about what’s happening at home – follow these easy steps to help keep your home secure this summer:
- Lawns, outside appearances
Ask a trusted friend or neighbour to take care of your lawn and gardens so that they don’t look abandoned or overgrown; a surefire sign that you’re not around. You can provide the lawn mower, or ask them to bring their own. Don’t have someone around to help out? Look into hiring a garden service to come by once a week; it’ll be money well spent.
- Mail, newspapers
It’s simple to go on-line or call to stop your mail and subscription newspapers for the period of time you’ll be away. However, you can’t stop the flyers, community papers and random deliveries that might happen, so ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your front porch and clear and store any papers and packages. Return the favour when they’re away.
- Protect your identity
Credit card companies have extremely sophisticated fraud software to alert them when your card is being used in a non-traditional or unusual way. With the PC Financial MasterCard, it’s simple to go on-line and let them know when and where you’ll be traveling, to avoid any interruption to card services. Log into your PC Financial account for more info at www.pcfinancial.ca
- Banking & bills
Stay on top of bill payments & avoid unnecessary bills stacking up at home by downloading the PC Financial daily banking app to your smart phone, or take your laptop along to access your banking information online any time, from virtually anywhere in the world, making it easy to bank on the go!
- Be discreet
Don’t announce on social media that you’ll be away. Save the photos until you get home. The strategy of telling people you have a house sitter can also backfire; most don’t believe it, and the risk to your home increases if you don’t actually have this service.
Make a list of responsibilities and assign and check them off before you go. If you have a neighbour or family member close by who can take a house key and check in every now and again, that will provide extra protection. Ask them to occasionally park their car in your driveway to make it appear that someone is home.
By following these simple and easy home protection steps, you’re free to focus on what really matters – soaking up the sun and fun with loved ones!
As a busy mom of four, author and Chief Family Advisor for PC Financial, Kathy Buckworth loves being able to help families simplify their lives while saving time and money.