The Christmas holidays are approaching, and for some they already started. While it is always important to keep your home secure, during the Christmas holidays in Costa Rica it’s a must to be extra careful.
In many countries, people celebrate Christmas at home with family. In Costa Rica, because most expats who live here don’t have family around, they either visit their family abroad or take some time off at the beach.
Even if you live in a gated community or a condominium, it doesn’t mean you can just shut the door behind you; there are always things you can take care of to keep your home secure.
It’s not only burglary you have to beware of. There are other hazards you should take into account. Here are 12 tips to keep your home secure during the Christmas holidays in Costa Rica.
1. If you can, have someone stay at your home while you are away.
2. Turn off all your Christmas lighting; you won’t be there to enjoy it. Not only will you save a lot of energy, but you won’t run the risk of a short and find a burned-down house when you get back.
3. Shut off the main water valve. If there’s an earthquake while you are away, you might find your house flooded when you get back. I learned this when it was too late and I spent hours mopping floors and had a huge water bill at the end of the month.
4. Tell a neighbor you trust that you are going to be away and ask the neighbor to keep an eye out for you, check in on your house once in a while and water the plants. Show the neighbor where the main water valve is.
5. Tell your neighborhood guard or condo administrator that you will be away and give them the name and phone number of the neighbor who will be checking on your house.
6. Be careful with what you post on social media sites like Facebook.
7. Turn your home phone ringer down and switch off your answering machine.
8. If you live in a single-family home and don’t have neighborhood security, install timers on your lights. Make sure you don’t leave any lights on during the daytime.
9. If you have a garage and are leaving a car behind, park it inside.
10. If there are kids’ toys all over the carport, put them inside.
11. Don’t put a padlock on your outer gate with the lock facing out, as that would alert potential thieves that you’re away.
12. If you have an alarm system, make sure someone can tend to it so it won’t be going off night and day while you’re away (like after a power outage).
The American European Real Estate Network wishes you all very safe and happy Christmas holidays in Costa Rica and a prosperous 2016.
Ivo Henfling, a Dutch expat who has lived in Costa Rica since 1980, founded the American-European Real Estate Group back in 1999 which was the first functioning MLS with affiliate agents from coast to coast. Ivo Henfling can be reached at (506) 2289-5125 / 8834-4515 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.