Summer is right around the corner, and for most families, that means vacations to tourist destinations, lake houses and beach getaways. But, your home is most vulnerable to the dangers of theft and vandalism while you’re away.
Here are a few ways you can make sure to keep your home safe while you’re away:
Prepare. Before leaving, there are a number of things you can do to keep your home safe while you’re away. HGTV recommends holding your mail and newspaper subscription, setting up your pets at a boarding facility and leaving a few lights on a timer before you leave. A buildup of mail or newspapers sends a clear sign to potential thieves that no one has been home in a while. Further, by leaving lights on, it looks like someone has been there recently, and also acts as a deterrent for crime. Also, be sure not to broadcast your vacation plans on social media. You’ll want to keep details to yourself, and not draw attention to your absence as much as possible. We know it’s tempting to post those wonderful vacation photos from the beach but hold off until you’re back. Tip off the police if you’re going to be gone for longer than a week it can help to let the local police department or neighborhood watch know so they can keep an extra vigilant watch on your home.
Get help. There are a few things you can’t do in advance. For these, ask a trusted neighbor or close friend to mow your lawn, water your plants or anything else that needs to be done on a regular basis while you’re gone. You could even ask them to spend an evening or two inside, so it looks like someone is still home. Try making a meal ahead of time that they can quickly cook in your oven not only will it look like someone is home but it’s also a nice way of thanking them for helping you out.
Clean. It’s also important to prepare for your return, so you don’t have to jump right back into everything the second you walk back through the door. You can clean out your fridge, do a load of laundry, run the dishwasher and spray for pests. This way, you’ll have a clean slate when you return.
Overall, preparing your home for a vacation is just as important as packing your suitcase. With these tips, and a little common sense, you’re more likely to have a save trip, and return to a secure (and clean!) home.