It’s nearly impossible to relax on vacation if you’re worried about the safety and security of your home and belongings while you’re gone. Instead of just locking your door and crossing your fingers that all will be well, take some precautions before you go. Here are ten ideas for helping to protect your home when you go on vacation:
- Consider using a house sitter who will live in the home and keep an eye on things in your absence. Many house sitters provide pet care, too, so the amount that you may save on boarding can help offset the cost. Be sure to get references and to agree on fees and ground rules before you leave, and always leave emergency contact information with the sitter.
- If your home has a security system, make sure it is in good working order with fresh backup batteries. If the system is monitored, ask your monitoring company what you need to do before leaving town. You may want to consider upgrading to a smart security system which can enable you to control the system remotely. Some smart systems also offer video monitoring, alarm alerts, remote locks, and other useful features.
- Ask trusted neighbors or friends to check on the house while you’re away. A call or text message reporting that everything is okay can help put your mind at ease.
- Make sure the home has ample lighting inside and out. Change the bulbs in outdoor fixtures before you go. Set timers for lamps that are visible from windows and add motion sensors that trigger exterior lights to turn on when someone approaches.
- Hold or forward mail and deliveries, or ask a reliable neighbor or friend to collect items each day. Flyers or door hangers that aren’t picked up can also signal that the home is unoccupied. Bring your garbage container in from the curb or ask someone to do it for you.
- Even if you don’t have a pet, leaving a large dog bowl out or a “Beware of Dog” sign may discourage intruders.
- Don’t skip lawn care while you’re out of town. Make sure the lawn is mowed or raked, depending on the season. Set an automatic sprinkler system or ask a neighbor to water your turf and landscape, as well as any blooming plants.
- Secure valuables before you leave. Put electronics out of sight, and lock up important documents, making sure to photograph them first. Consider placing expensive jewelry and collectibles in a safe or a safe deposit box until you get back.
- Don’t broadcast your plans, especially on social media. Wait until you return to post pictures from your trip, and be careful who you tell that you’ll be gone for a while.
- Make a list of last-minute tasks that you need to take care of so you don’t forget something in the rush to pack and get out the door. You’ll want to set the thermostat, turn off electronics and appliances, close window treatments, and lock windows, gates, and doors.
HSASM Home Warranty protection can give you one less thing to worry about on vacation. If you come home to a covered item malfunction, you can simply call HSA to handle the breakdown. Visit onlinehsa.com for more information.