You might be preparing to spend your remaining days of summer on a vacation. While vacations are supposed to be relaxing, you may find yourself worried about your home’s safety while you’re away. It’s true though, there are some actions you can take that will ensure both a safe home and peace of mind.
Shut down your home
The first step in keeping your home safe is to shut down your home. Here’s how you can make that happen.
Unplug your appliances
Small appliances, such as the toaster oven or television, will still use some electricity while they are plugged in. Unplugging them will save you some money and eliminate the (small) risk of an electricity fire.
Set your water heater to vacation mode
Another way to save some money on electricity is to set your water heater so that it isn’t heating water you don’t use.
Adjust your thermostat
Make sure your thermostat is turned down — not off — to lower your utilities bill while you’re away.
Check your smoke detectors
Double check that all your smoke detectors are in working order so they can signal for any fires that may occur during your absence.
Secure your home
Once your home is shut down, next you’ll need to take the steps necessary to secure it. This security goes beyond just locking the doors and windows. Here are some tips.
Don’t hide a spare key
Robbers know to look for spare keys, and they know the clever — and not-so-clever — places that homeowners hide them. If you have one hidden, remove it and eliminate the risk that someone might find it.
Don’t post about your vacation on social media
Make sure you don’t announce your departure on social media before or after you leave. You may trust your family and friends, but thieves also use social media to find potential targets. Keep your home safe by waiting to post until after you’re back.
Employ some diversion tactics
Finally, employ some diversion tactics to ensure your home’s safety while you’re away. Here are a few ideas for how to make it seem like you’re still home to any passersby.
Put a vacation hold on your mail and newspapers
There’s no clearer indication that you’re away on vacation than a pile of mail or newspapers left unopened. Place a temporary hold on your mail and/or newspapers while you’re away.
Set your lights on a timer
Another diversion tactic could be setting your lights—especially your front porch lights—on a timer. This can make it seem as though you’re still home and that things are operating as normal.
Have someone come over
You may want to have a friend or family member come over occasionally to check on your plants or your home to make sure everything is fine. If you’re gone for an extended period of time, perhaps they would be willing to mow your lawn as well.