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Before Heading Out On Vacation, Check These Items!

Happy girl leaning out of car window

Leaving home for a summer vacation is a great opportunity to enjoy stress-free time away from the regular routines of work and life. But before you leave for that weekend getaway or multi-week adventure, make sure to protect your home against threats. From home invasions to basement flooding, here are some tips to keep your home safe in your absence.

These 12 tips can help prevent damage to your home and discourage home invasions or burglary.

  • Shut off the water – if a leak develops while you’re away, it can lead to a burst pipe and thousands of dollars of damage. Shut off the water at the main valve to avoid catastrophe.
  • Hire a housesitter – the next best thing to your presence is to have someone you trust living in your home. They can water plants, pick up the newspaper, and generally keep things stable.
  • Ask a neighbor to help – just knowing there is another set of eyes on your home can give you peace of mind. If nothing else, they can alert you to any concerns they notice.
  • Check the weather – and not just for your destination! Knowing your local forecast will help you be aware of any upcoming storms so you can prepare accordingly.
  • Lock up your pool – if you have a pool in your yard, put the cover on securely and lock the entry gate. This protects both your property and the kids in your neighborhood.
  • Pull the plug on electronics – disconnect power to your desktop computer, coffee pot, television, and garage door. This will save you both money and worry.
  • Hold the mail – contact your local post office to stop mail delivery to your home. They will hold your mail from three to thirty days. Save time by doing this online.
  • Stop newspaper delivery – a collection of newspapers on your porch or in your mailbox is a sure sign that you’re not home. If you still receive newsprint, make sure to put a stop on delivery.
  • Set timers on lights, indoors and outdoors – set electric timers on lights to come on and go off at various times. Make sure to include lights on all levels of your home.
  • Keep the grass mowed – grass grows quickly and an unkept lawn is a sure sign that no one is home. Hire someone to mow and trim your yard once per week in your absence.
  • Lock all doors and windows – walk around your home just before you leave to make sure every door, window, and garage door is locked. Don’t provide easy access to the inside.
  • Add a security system – if you don’t already have one, consider adding basic service or DIY with a product like Ring. Even motion sensor lights around the exterior can deter would-be invaders.

Our homes are our castles, no matter how humble they may be. The time it takes to complete these tasks prior to your departure is well worth the peace of mind you’ll enjoy while you’re away. And when you return, you won’t be coming home to disaster.