Now that many travel restrictions and bans have been lifted, the number of people traveling has gone up exponentially. Vacations can be extremely enjoyable. But before you hop on the plane, train, or boat or load into the car, you’ll want to be sure that your home is safe while you’re away. It’s important to properly plan before you leave. Here are 7 tips for protecting your home while you’re away on vacation.
There are things to do both inside and outside of the house. Here’s what to remember for the inside:
- Put your lights on a timer.
One of the easiest ways to determine if someone is away is by looking at their lighting. If a house remains dark at night – especially more than one night in a row – it can easily become a target for criminals looking for opportunities. Therefore, set your lights on a timer so it looks like you’re home – even when you’re not.
- Don’t post any updates on social media.
Another really easy way for someone to tell if you are away is by looking at your social media. Many people tend to share when they are leaving for vacation or post pictures on vacation. And while it’s understandable to want to share good news, it can also be an invitation for people to come to your home. In other words, if you’re away then you’re not home. Leave the pictures, posts, and comments for when you return.
- Set the HVAC.
An important way to protect your home when you are away is by setting a programmable thermostat that will lower the usage of your AC or heat while you are gone. Just remember to check on and change the thermostat battery.
- Ensure pipes are insulated.
One problem with going away – especially when the weather is cold – is that you run the risk of a pipe bursting without you being there to minimize the damage. Water damage can cost thousands of dollars in repairs. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your pipes are insulated. This is especially true in more vulnerable areas of the home such as basements and attics. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, it may be wise to ask a family member or friend to come over every so often and turn the sink on, which can help to prevent the pipes from freezing.
In addition to the inside of the home, there are things that you should keep in mind for the outside of the home when you go away.
- Tend to your landscaping.
One thing that you may not think of is to have your landscaping done. By trimming tree branches and cutting bushes, you can prevent access to your home by someone climbing a tree, and allow a better view of the home by removing anything that might obscure view of it.
- Stop newspapers and mail.
Another tell-tale sign that someone is away is that their mail begins to pile up. This is why it’s smart to stop all mail and newspaper deliveries or to have a neighbor or trusted individual pick it up regularly.
- Set exterior lights on a timer.
Just as it’s wise to set your interior lights on a timer, it can also be very beneficial to do the same for the exterior lights. Again, this can help mask the fact that you are away.
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