home in hands

It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year – time for summer vacations! As the weather gets warmer and summer arrives, we find ourselves booking the most exciting of trips – whether it’s to the beach, mountains, theme park, concerts, or more!

There are plenty of items to mark off your checklist when prepping for a vacation. Pack, purchase sunscreen, bring groceries, plan an itinerary, get tickets, and so forth. Something that may not come to your mind right away is how to keep your home safe while you are away – especially so outsiders cannot tell you’re gone and have an empty house. To help give you peace of mind while you’re on vacation, we put together a list of steps you can take to protect your home while you are away.

  1. Invest in a home security system or install cameras. They make this extremely easy to access today with items like smart security systems. You could have a full-blown security system or even just a doorbell that tracks who comes to your door. Something as simple as motion lights that monitor who steps foot on your property helps as well. Some security systems monitor when a door or window has been opened or any movement has been detected. Many alert your cell phone immediately and can even notify the authorities. It’s easy to keep an eye on your home even when miles away. Be sure to tell your alarm company that you are away so they know to keep an extra eye out for activity.
  2. Pause mail deliveries. A sure sign that a family is on vacation is their mail building up. Entrust in a friend or neighbor to gather your mail while you’re gone or visit the USPS website to put a temporary pause on deliveries. The same friend or neighbor can be asked to watch over your home and check in occasionally to make sure everything seems safe and sound. It’s a great idea to have someone check on doors and windows to make sure they’re still locked, everything looks in order, and even water the plants and take out the trash.
  3. Put a timer on electronics. Another way someone can tell you’re gone for an extended period of time is a dark house every night. This is as easy as purchasing a timer, plugging it into the electronic, and setting it. You could set some lights to go on at the same time – or set them so different rooms are on at different times, giving your home a more inhabited look.
  4. Don’t post intimate details about your vacation on social media. Although it may seem like second nature to post those vacation photos on Facebook – it may be a good idea to keep the posts to a private group of people you trust. Check your security settings on these platforms to make sure you don’t have anything set to “public.” Checking in to a far destination is an easy way to notify burglars you left an empty home behind. Also double-check to be sure your home address is not accessible anywhere on social media.
  5. More than just burglaries, is making sure your home is protected against home repairs. To protect against floods, consider shutting off the water supply to the toilets, dishwashers, and sinks (or all of the water altogether if you are not having anyone water your plants outside or use a sprinkler system). Clear storm drains and gutters in case of a heavy storm. Turn off and unplug any unnecessary electronics while you are gone to assist in fire prevention.

Vacations are an awesome experience and a great way to spend the summer with loved ones. The last thing you should be worried about is whether or not your home is safe. Use these tips to prep your home ahead of time, ensuring that your worries can be put behind you and you can focus on being in the moment on your vacation. And don’t forget to learn about how to conserve energy in your home while you’re on vacation!