Stress-free vacations can be the best time of the year, but it’s important not to let the anticipation of your vacation keep you from protecting your home. Forgetting to take the proper steps can turn your getaway into a living nightmare. Locking your doors is a given, but we’ve provided a list of extra precautions to follow no matter how long you’re away.
1. Hold Your MailA build up of mail and newspapers on your front step is an obvious cue the home is unoccupied. Unless you can find a trustworthy friend to pick up your mail each day, ask your post office to place a temporary hold on mail delivery. Most post offices will do so for 3 to 30 days, and some allow you to submit a request online. Do the same for your newspaper if you get one delivered.
2. Make it Seem as Though You’re HomeSimple things like putting your lights on timers can make a huge difference. It’s very noticeable when everything normally going on at your house suddenly stops. If you don’t have timers, investing in them for your lights can go a long way to prevent any suspicion. Having a neighbor take out your trash and return the cans will also make your house appear occupied.
3. Don’t Post About Your Trip
4. Pull the Plug on Your ElectronicsKeeping your home safe is more than just safeguarding it from a burglary. You can protect your home from electrical fires and power surges by unplugging unnecessary appliances, while also saving a few bucks. Turning off your garage door, if it’s electronic, can also help with preventing a break-in.
5. Turn off the Main WaterClosing the valve to the supply line will cut off water to your home, and will reduce the risk of leaking or flooding. The main valve can be found in multiple places, like the basement or crawlspace. Though the odds of a pipe bursting while you’re away are slim, the destruction caused by water damage can be catastrophic.
6. Ask For HelpIf you normally keep your lawn well maintained, ask a friend to cut your grass and water your flowers. The same should go for shoveling snow from your driveway or sidewalk. If you’re on vacation for a long period of time, someone might notice this lack of attention to your property. Having a trustworthy friend to watch over your house can only help. Just make sure you return the favor when they go away!
7. Remove Extra Keys
8. Lock upThe most obvious way to keep your house is safe is to simply lock up. Your front door will surely be locked, but what about all your windows? Take your time and think about everything you may have left open and make sure to lock it before you leave.
9. Safe-Keep ValuablesIf you’re still nervous about your valuables, consider investing in a safe or similar device. Securing these treasured possessions will help calm your nerves and allow you to enjoy your much-deserved time away from home!
By following this checklist, you can truly enjoy all your vacation has to offer, and then ease back into reality upon your return.