When was the last time you went on a vacation and really unplugged? If you can’t remember, you may be overdue for some time away with family and friends. Whether it’s a cruise in the Caribbean or a whale-watching trip in Alaska, you deserve rest and relaxation.
Nothing ruins a great vacation like finding out someone broke into your home or that it was severely damaged while you were away.
Before you get on the road for your big adventure, make sure you secure your home using these tips.
- Make it look like someone is at home. A dark, empty house with no movement is a target for thieves. Ask a friend to come by or park in your driveway so there’s activity in your home.
- Stop your mail delivery or ask a friend/neighbor to check your mail so it doesn’t pile up in your mailbox.
- Put a light on a timer and schedule it to come on every so often. Lights that never go off are expensive on your electric bill and just as suspicious as a home with lights that never turn on.
- Keep your lawn trimmed and neat by hiring a landscaper or asking a friend or neighbor for help. A clean lawn will make people think there’s someone home to keep it up.
- Unplug electronics and appliances to prevent damage from power surges in bad storms or possible fire.
- Turn off the water to your sinks, the dishwasher, and the washing machine. This will help prevent flooding if a pipe bursts while you’re gone.
- Set your thermostat to higher than usual in summer or lower than usual in winter, but don’t turn it off completely. You don’t want extreme humidity and temperature changes to cause mold or damage your furniture and, in the winter, you want to prevent your pipes from freezing.
- Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly before you leave.
- Don’t announce your vacation plans in your outgoing voicemail or on social media. You never know who’s calling or watching you online. That vacation announcement on Facebook could be all the invitation a thief needs.
- Let the police know if you’ll be gone for more than a week. In many areas, they’ll add your home to their patrol if they know it will be empty for several days.
You can’t prevent every accident or theft but you can take steps to secure your home before you go on vacation. Just a few precautions before you leave will give you the peace of mind you need while you’re away.