Summer is here and hopefully you’re heading out on an amazing vacation sometime soon. But nothing ruins a vacation faster than finding out your home has been robbed or damaged while you’re away. Thankfully there are steps you can take to help prevent such a catastrophe from happening to you and your home:
– Stop your mail and newspapers by contacting the USPS and newspaper company respectively or ask a neighbor to collect them everyday for you. Try to time your deliveries so you won’t have any packages delivered while you’re gone, but if you do, make sure those are also picked up soon after they arrive.
– Don’t announce your departure on social media. You’ll certainly want to share your amazing vacation photos with everyone while you’re gone, but either wait until you’re home to give a photo summary or make sure your accounts are set to private.
– Put a friend or neighbor in charge. Give them a key and ask them do a walk through a few times while you’re away. Also let them know who to expect at your home (i.e. mowers, pet caretakers, etc.) and tell them how to get in touch with you if something is amiss.
– Let your alarm company know when you’ll be gone and how to get in touch with you. Leave an alternative contact if you’ll be difficult to reach or out of the country.
– Arrange to have your home mowed and plants watered. An unkempt lawn is certainly a give away that someone hasn’t been home for a while. Your plants may also not survive the summer if they’re not watered, so asking a neighbor or hiring a local teenager to come water and mow while you’re gone will save your lawn and potentially your home as well.
– Unplug appliances and turn off your water. Water heaters, washing machines and icemakers are notorious for leaking and ruining many a floor while homeowners are on vacation. A periodic walk through by a neighbor or friend can ensure that help arrives before severe damage is done.
– Consider a house sitter. This is especially a great option if you have pets that need to be cared for while you’re gone. Hiring someone to stay in your home and take care of your pets may even be cheaper than boarding your pets.
– Set up a timer. Lights and music can all be controlled by your smartphone or set up a variable timer to just turn lamps on and off while you’re away. Also, make sure your home is well-lit as thieves prefer to sneak around under the cloak of darkness.
By taking a few precautions before you can leave, you can ensure that you will return to the same home that you left!