Planning that summer vacation? Here are our top tips to give you added peace of mind while you’re away.
- One of the most effective steps is to make your home appear occupied. Use timers or an app on a few lights throughout the house, scheduling them to turn off and on at various times after dark.
- Use extra caution when communicating about your vacation dates on Facebook and other social media. And don’t post photos until you’re back. Information spreads quickly, and you don’t want it to get into the wrong hands.
- Advise friends and trusted neighbors of your travel plans. Make sure you can be reached in an emergency if necessary.
- Have the post office hold your mail and suspend any newspaper and package deliveries, or ask a neighbor to collect them for you each day. A buildup of mail or uncollected packages or papers are obvious signs that no one is home.
- Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway on occasion so it looks like there is someone at home.
- Arrange to have someone mow the lawn in your absence if you’re going to be gone for more than a week.
- Close the window coverings in ground-level rooms so that would-be thieves aren’t tempted by valuables and other items visible from outside.
- Unplug appliances such as the coffee maker, toaster, microwave, computers, gaming systems and televisions. Be sure to leave the refrigerator and freezer plugged in of course.
- To avoid the potential of water damage from an unpredictable leak or a burst hose, shut off the water supply lines for the toilets, sinks, washing machine, dishwasher, and ice maker. It takes just a few minutes and can prevent coming home to a disaster.
- Adjust the water heater to its lowest temperature setting or to vacation mode if it has one. Maintaining the hot water at its normal temperature while you’re away wastes energy and money.
- If possible, pack your vacation gear into the car while it’s in the garage so that you’re not announcing to passersby that you’re on your way out of town.
- Lock the garage, gates, and storage structures. Don’t forget to lock any side doors to the garage, as well as doors leading into the house from the garage.
Enjoy your time away, knowing that you’ve taken these smart measures to help keep your home safe and secure.