The House Back Home: Protecting Your Property While You’re on Assignment
We’ve all seen Home Alone and can remember the premise: Burglars ransack a wealthy neighborhood while residents are on vacation, only to be foiled by a clever kid who got left behind. It’s a fun movie!
What’s less fun is the reality of being victimized by burglars who know you’re not home to stop them. We can’t all be so lucky to have Macaulay Culkin looking out for our homes. If you’re a travel nurse about to leave for assignment, you’ll need to get smart about protecting your property.
“Lived-in” homes are more protected
One of the major ways people are able to protect their homes is by making them look “lived-in.” Burglars tend to target empty homes because they know nobody will be there to stop them. If you make it look like someone is actively living in your home and taking care of normal household duties, burglars will be less inclined to target it.
Lots of things go in to making your home look lived-in, such as mowing the lawn so it doesn’t look overgrown, bringing in the mail so it’s not overflowing from the mailbox, and turning on lights so the house isn’t dark 24/7. If your assignment allows you to be nearby, make a point to visit your home every so often to do these activities and ensure that your home is safe.
Request help in keeping your home safe
Unfortunately, when you’re away on an assignment you won’t be able to do these things easily or at all. This is where the help of a neighbor, family member, or close friend can be instrumental. Ask someone whom you trust to visit your home once a week to check on it, grab your mail, water plants, and do other minor household activities.
You might also want to hire a local landscaping service or neighborhood teen to trim your lawn once or twice a month. These things will ensure that your home looks occupied and actively cared for.
Sometimes, relying on other people to check on your home is burdensome or unrealistic. Fortunately, there are plenty of other things you can do to make your home appear more lived-in, give you greater control, and allow you to monitor your home from afar.
Home automation systems can control things such as lights, door locks, and thermostats using programmable timers and remote applications on your cellphone. These systems allow you to set lights to turn on and off at natural intervals, regulate temperatures, and keep doors locked.
Mail forwarding is another great method, allowing you to receive mail at your current address instead of letting it pile up at home.
You don’t have to go far
When accepting travel nursing assignments, many people think they have to take a cross-country trip. However, if you’re nervous about leaving your home unattended, you don’t have to go far! Many assignments can be found in your local community or just a few hours from home, allowing you to visit your home on days off if it makes you feel safer.
You’re probably focused on the assignment in front of you, but don’t forget about the house you’re leaving behind for an extended period of time. It takes just a little bit of foresight to keep it safe and secure until you’re home again.