Summer vacations often take us away from our homes for extended periods of time, leaving them vulnerable to any number of catastrophic events while we’re gone. To ensure that your home will be found just as you left it, take some time to set up these preventative measures before you leave town on your next summer vacation:
– If you’ll be gone for more than a few days, ask someone to housesit for you as their mere presence is likely to deter a myriad of potential problems.
– If you won’t be hiring someone to housesit, alert your neighbors to your absence and ask one to do a walk-through of the house while you’re away. If you have an alarm company, let them know as well.
– Hire someone to cut your grass while you’re away; an unkempt yard is often the most obvious advertisement to would-be thieves that no one is home.
– Ask a neighbor to get your mail or contact the post office to hold your mail while you’re gone; do the same with any newspapers and packages that might arrive while you’re out of town.
– Set a few lights on a timer, or better yet, set up some lights with outlets that can be controlled from your smartphone. (Here is one such outlet.)
– Before you leave town, double check that your doors and windows are locked.
– Install ample outdoor lighting including sensitive motion detector lights.
– Don’t leave valuables like electronics and jewelry in plain sight; store cash and valuables in a bolted safe or an off-site location.
– Don’t announce your vacation on social media; wait until your return to let the world know that your house was unattended.
– Avoid hiding spare keys on the exterior of your home, especially in fake rocks, under mats and other obvious hiding spots.
– Install a security camera that you can monitor from your smartphone. These systems are relatively inexpensive and simple to install and control. Some even offer playback features which can be helpful if there is a problem while you’re away. (Here is one popular model that we like.)
– Use a video doorbell so you can easily monitor the front entrance and know who is ringing your doorbell; you’ll also be able to see and speak with visitors if necessary. (Here is one inexpensive model that gets great reviews.)
How will you protect your home while you’re away this summer?