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Secure Your Home While On Vacation

Summer means travel for a lot of us. Here are some tips to keep your home as safe as possible while you’re away.

  1. Don’t Look Abandoned
  • Stop your mail (a simple form filled out at your local post office).
  • Stop newspaper deliveries.
  • Employ a neighbor kid to open and close front curtains as well as turn on/off the porch light and an interior light that’s visible from the street.
  • If you’ll be gone more than a week, hire the same neighbor kid to mow the grass. Nothing tells thieves “I’m empty” more than an overgrown lawn in an otherwise well-kept neighborhood.
  1. Prepare for Storms
  • Make sure your sump pump is working and has battery backup in case of a power outage.
  • Clean gutters so they’ll not overflow and damage the roof or siding, or pool water against the house, if there is heavy rain while you’re gone.
  1. Give Someone Your Contact Info.
  • Make sure a trusted neighbor has your mobile phone number. Don’t you want to know if a storm knocks a tree onto your roof while you’re away?
  • Consider leaving a house key with the same trusted neighbor, especially if you’d like your basement checked after heavy rain.
  1. Call the Authorities
  • Let your local police station know the dates during which your home will be empty. They will at least pay special attention during regular patrols and they may be willing to drive by more frequently than usual.
  • If you have a Neighborhood Watch, notify them that you’ll be gone.
  1. Mum’s the Word
  • Be careful about where and to whom you broadcast your travel plans. You never know who might be listening, and you’d be surprised how quickly a motivated would-be thief can figure out where you live.
  • Never announce your vacation dates on social media and wait until you’re home to post those envy-inducing pictures of your trip.
  1. Safeguard the Valuables
  • Get that jewelry out of your dresser or nightstand drawer. It’s the first place a thief will look. You should have a fireproof, lockbox or safe for important documents like wills, insurance policies, etc. Put the valuables there or get them to a safety deposit box at your local bank.
  1. Advertise Your Security Measures
  • Make sure your security company’s signs are visible. If you don’t have a security company, you can put up fake signs and even fake security cameras. Yup. People do it all the time, and it really is a deterrent to thieves.
  1. Adjust the Thermostat
  • No need to cool or heat a home no one is in. Why not save a little on the utility bills? 85 degrees Fahrenheit is good in the summer. In the winter, make sure you keep some heat on to help prevent pipes from freezing.
  1. Unplug . . .
  • . . . both large and small items to protect you from power surges.

If you do some smart advance-planning, you can be free of worries about your home while you’re on vacation.

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