Before you pack your bags and hit the road, take these seven precautions to keep your home safe while you’re on vacation.
Ask someone to check
Enlist a neighbor or friend to keep an eye on your home while you’re gone. If that’s not possible, see if your local police department offers vacation home checks.
Hold your mail
Piled up mail is an obvious sign that no one is home. The solution? Have the post office hold your mail. It’s easy to request a hold online. You just fill out the form with the dates you’ll be gone. On the day you choose, the post office will deliver all your mail and resume regular service.
Lights that turn on and off create an illusion that someone is in the house. Set your timers so they reflect natural patterns. For example, when the lights downstairs turn off in the evening, turn on the lights in an upstairs bedroom. Reverse the timing for the morning.
Put a timer on your TV to create flickering light and noise, just like when someone is home. You could also put a radio on a timer for intermittent noise.
Unplug where possible
Save energy by unplugging any appliances that draw energy even while they’re turned off. This includes TVs, computers and chargers. This will also protect them from power surges in case there’s a storm.
Turn off the water heater or set it to “vacation” mode.
Mind your curtains
Keep curtains positioned as they usually are when you are home. If it’s not your habit to keep curtains continuously closed, it’s a sure sign that you’re not home. Make sure valuable items are not in view from windows.
Keep the lawn mowed
Don’t let an overgrown lawn tip off burglars that you’re not home. Ask a neighbor to mow for you while you’re gone and offer to do the same for them when they go away. Or, hire a service.
Be smart on social media
Be cautious about sharing vacation plans and your location on Facebook and Twitter. Thieves can use this information to target your home while you’re gone. Share pics and vacation stories online after you return.
Wherever you go this summer, take peace of mind along by keeping your home safe while you’re gone.
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