As Labor Day approaches and children prepare to return to school, many families are still looking forward to a late summer vacation. But, before you shut that front door and secure the garage for the last time in two weeks, make sure you take care of the following 10 steps to protect your home while you’re on vacation.
- Trim your trees. Don’t offer a potential burglar a place to hide. Make sure your home’s windows, porches and doors are visible to neighbors and passersby and not shrouded by vegetation.
- Don’t turn off the air conditioner. Turn the thermostat up to about 85, but don’t turn it completely off. Leaving it on at a higher temperature, will allow air to continue to circulate so that it won’t have time to condensate.
- Run the dishwasher. After running it, leave the door open to allow it to dry, which will help prevent a musty smell from forming while you’re away.
- Light your home like you’re home. Putting your lights on a timer is your best bet. A seemingly occupied house is a less appealing target for burglars.
- Don’t post your travel plans or whereabouts on social media sites. Sharing your vacation plans and checking in can be fun, but doing so is a public declaration of your whereabouts and a potential invitation to thieves.
- Turn off the main water supply. By doing this, you can protect your home from leaks while you’re away, and still water your yard as the sprinklers run off a separate supply.
- Lock your doors and windows, and close your blinds, shutters and shades. Burglary is often a crime of opportunity, so don’t offer any unwanted intruders the extra incentive to take a closer look at your home.
- Flush all your toilets. Leave the toilet lids up when you leave to avoid stagnant water.
- Arm your alarms. It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how often people forget.
- Enlist the help of a friend or family member. Life is unpredictable, so it’s best to be prepared for any possibility. If a leak forms in your home, for instance, or a severe storm hits your area, you’ll be glad that there’s someone there to check on your property.
Whether you’re planning a summer vacation, or you’re planning a getaway during the coming holiday season, bookmark this link – or print this article out – and use it as a checklist before you go.