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Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe on Vacation

Vacation Luggage

The Murphy’s Law of homeownership dictates that, if something is going to happen, it’s probably going to be when you’re not home. While this thought can be scary, it doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t leave your house or go on vacation. With a little advanced planning, you can dramatically reduce the likelihood of arriving home to a disaster.

Turn the water off

A broken pipe can cause a lot of damage in a relatively short period of time, so just imagine what you could come home to after being gone for a week or more! Turning the water off at a shut off as close to the main as possible can dramatically reduce the potential and likelihood of damage occurring while you’re away. Always inspect shut off valves to ensure that they are in good repair and not leaking, and have valves in poor condition replaced immediately.

If traveling during the cold winter months, it’s important to take steps to prevent frozen pipes before you go. Homes that are left unheated, or that run out of heating oil or gas, are some of the most common causes of water damage that occurs while the homeowner is away. To make matters worse, there often is no insurance coverage for claims that result from heat not being maintained at a property. If you will be gone for an extended period of time, you may want to winterize the property before you leave.

Make it look like someone’s home

Thieves often look for homes that look unoccupied, as they are less risky targets. One of the best ways of making your home look less desirable to criminals while you’re away is by making it look like someone is still home. Take a moment to consider the tasks you generally perform around your home such as getting the mail and mowing the lawn. Interruptions in these tasks may draw unwanted attention to your home. Here are a few tips to prevent your home from appearing unoccupied.

• To prevent your mail from piling up at your mailbox or front porch, consider having it held at the post office or collected by a friend or neighbor.

• Since your grass will continue to grow while you’re gone, you may want to ask a friend to mow the lawn a couple of times, or hire a professional service to care for your lawn while you’re away.

• Setting a couple of lights on timers will make it look like someone is home and cause most burglars to think twice.

• Asking a friend or neighbor to check on the house periodically will mean that people will be in and out of your house, making it appear more active.

Don’t post detailed trip plans on social media

With the size of some friend lists and the potential for some posts to be public, you never really know who may see your travel plans or pictures. While we can completely understand your desire to tell everyone about your amazing vacation plans, it’s much safer to save those pictures and stories for after you return.

Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house

Your neighbors are more than happy to keep an eye on your place while you’re gone, after all, they don’t want problems in their neighborhood either! Don’t hesitate to ask, you’ll have a much greater sense of peace of mind knowing someone is keeping an eye on things while you’re gone!

Memories of your vacation should be about beaches, sights, and time with your family, not the mess you found when you returned home. Hopefully these tips will not only allow you some peace of mind while you’re gone, but reduce the chance of anything happening while you’re away!

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