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Keep your home safe while on Vacation

Many people will be going on vacation in July and August. That means that your home will be unoccupied during that time period. There are many precautions you can take while you are away to keep your home safe. Here are just a few:

Your first step is to make sure all doors and windows are locked. If you will not be leaving lights on, close the blinds, shades or curtains. In the summer, you may want to set air conditioning at 80 degrees and in the winter set the heat at 60 degrees. Do not turn the heat off in the winter while you are away. Your pipes could freeze and burst, therefore causing water damage to your property and many problems for you upon your return.

The next step you can take is turn on your alarm if you have one. Sounds simple, but there are people who have alarm systems and do not turn them on.  If your system is monitored, you can also call your alarm company and let them know that you will be on vacation during a specific time period and tell them that if your alarm goes off, immediately contact the police. If you do not currently have an alarm system, consider installing one as you may be eligible to receive a discount on your homeowners insurance. A great option many alarm companies also offer is fire alarm monitoring. This way in the event of a fire, the alarm company will immediately contact the fire department. Make sure you also put out the alarm company signs they provide in a visible area outside your home and place the stickers on your windows, doors and sliding glass doors. This lets possible intruders know your house is alarmed.

If you still receive a daily newspaper, call and postpone delivery for the time you are away. As far as your mail, contact the post office to put your mail on hold and they will redeliver upon your return. Or you can ask a neighbor to pick up your newspapers and mail daily while you are away.

Another precaution you can take is with lighting. Do you have outdoor lighting motion detectors? A good spot for these is either the front door, over the garage or in the back yard. This way if someone approaches your home, the lights will go on and hopefully deter them away. Motion detectors will also save you money on your electric bill as they will only go on if they pick up motion (animals and high winds may also turn the lights on). Another inexpensive use of lighting to protect your home is to invest in timers. You can install these attached to certain lights in your home. For example: a table lamp near a window. This way from the outside, it appears as if there is someone home. In addition, try having your outdoor lights go on at dusk nightly.

Everyone loves to post their vacation pictures, latest adventures and dinner entrees on social media. But posting that you are currently on vacation, may invite an intruder. You are telling people, I am away and my house is empty. No one wants to come home from a great vacation and realize they have been burglarized. So do your best to hold on to these great photos and post them when you return. People do not need to know your every move while you are away.

Lastly, if you have a trusted neighbor or friend in the area ask them to check on your home while on vacation, especially if you will be away longer than one week.

Hopefully, taking these simple precautions may keep your home safe while you are away. It’s so nice to take a well deserved vacation and not have to worry about your home.