While you’re relaxing on the beach during your summer vacation, the last thing you want to be doing is worrying about whether your home is safe. So follow these 10 tips to keep your home safe while you’re on vacation from Howstuffworks.com.
1. Hire a house or pet sitter: Having someone stay in your house is the best way to keep it safe – it’ll look just like you never left. As an added bonus, you’ll have someone who can help with things like taking care of your pet, watering your flowers, and taking in your newspapers.
2. Hold your mail: Avoid an exploding mail box and the risk of someone tampering with your mail by putting it on hold. The United States Postal Service will hold it for free for three to 30 days.
3. Stop newspaper delivery: There’s nothing like a pile of newspapers on your front porch to indicate that you’re away, piquing criminals’ attention. Contact your service to hold the papers until you return.
4. Enlist neighbors’ help: Ask neighbors to keep an eye on your home for things like doorknob fliers and yellow page books that can indicate an absent homeowner. Plus, they can keep in contact with you to assure you that everything is safe while you’re gone.
5. Make it look like you never left: To keep up the illusion that the home is still occupied, invest in timers that turn interior lights on for a few hours each night. Ask a neighbor to take your garbage and recycling cans in and out to make it look like someone is home and doing the chores.
6. Keep the landscape trimmed: High grass that’s approaching jungle-length is a dead giveaway that the homeowners are away. Hire a lawn-mowing service or ask a neighbor to help you with maintenance so it appears trimmed and taken care of.
7. Triple check: There’s always the possibility of missing an unlocked window or a cracked back door. Before you leave, triple check all the areas in your home that could act as an entrance and make sure they’re sealed tight.
8. Don’t put it online: Though it may be tempting to post exciting statuses and blogs about your upcoming vacation, it’s common for criminals to see these as invitations to enter your home. Keep your itineraries offline and burglars out of your house.
9. Unplug electronics and appliances: Instead of worrying about whether you turned off the stove or the iron, simply unplug them! You’ll save yourself a great deal of worrying along with unnecessary charges on your energy bill.
10. Install added security features: Make sure your home alarm is up to date so that if a criminal does try to enter your home, the alarm goes off and the police are contacted.
What do you do to prepare for a vacation?