When you’re planning a vacation, there are so many details to consider. From booking flights and hotels to making sure you have everything packed to finding a pet-sitter — your to do list is likely already long. It’s easy to get so caught up in the excitement of an upcoming trip that you forget one of the most crucial tasks: making sure your home is safe from damage or robbery in your absence. Because summer is such a popular time for travel, July and August have a higher burglary rate than the remaining 10 months of the year. If you have upcoming travel plans, here are 10 tips to help ensure you return to your home just as you left it.
Install a home security system
Having a home security system installed can significantly reduce your risk of experiencing a burglary. According to a study conducted by the University of North Carolina, 83% of convicted burglars admit to moving on to another home if they suspected one had a home security system. Placing security stickers on your windows and signs in your yard can also help deter potential intruders, especially when you are away from your home.
Place a hold on your newspaper and mail
Nothing alerts burglars to your absence like piled up mail and newspapers. Make sure to empty your mailbox before you leave and either have someone pick up your mail or place a hold on it with the post office. Also, be aware of any packages that may be delivered while you’re gone and adjust delivery dates as needed.
Set a timer for outdoor and indoor lights and other electronics
The best way to keep your home safe it to make it look like someone is home. Setting timers for your exterior and interior lights is one of the most important things you can do before you leave for vacation. If you can, you may also want to set up a remote system so you can turn on music or the TV for periods of time while you’re on vacation — especially at night and if you live in a townhome or an apartment.
Don’t leave a hidden key
As tempting as it can be to hide a key so you can protect yourself in the event you get locked out of your home, burglars not only look for keys — they also know where to find them. If you absolutely need to leave a key behind, leave it with someone you trust.
Lock all doors and windows
It’s common to remember to lock all your doors, but don’t forget about the windows! Though 34% of burglars will enter through the front door, 23% will opt to enter through a first-floor window. Securing all access points to your home before you leave is essential to reducing your risk for a break-in. You may also want to consider disconnecting your garage if it has a direct entrypoint to your home, as some can be opened using a universal remote.
Make a plan to continue home maintenance
If you have a yard that you either maintain on your own or have serviced by a landscaper, be sure to make arrangements to have your lawn cared for while you’re away. Keeping up with the exterior of your home helps give the impression that someone is home.
Be mindful if you plan to post about your vacation on social media
One of the biggest giveaways that you’re away from your home is posting about it on social media. Sharing your vacation location and sending multiple updates about your trip lets potential burglars know your house is empty. If you can’t resist the urge to share a few photos with your friends and family, check your privacy settings to monitor who can see your posts, remove any location tags and avoid confirming that you’re still away from your home.
Protecting your home from burglars isn’t the only consideration ahead of vacation — you’ll also want to eliminate your risk of electrical fires or damage to your home that goes unnoticed. Unplugging your appliances will not only conserve energy, but you’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your major appliances can’t accidentally turn on or experience a problem.
Enlist a trusted friend or neighbor to check in on your home
If you can, make arrangements to have someone check in on your home for any unexpected packages or flyers at your doorstep and to ensure you haven’t had any problems arise inside your home, such as water pipe issues or unexpected damage from a storm.
Secure your valuables in a safe
Burglars will check the master bedroom for valuables first, so it’s important to secure them before you leave. The best option is to store them in a safe, but hiding them in unusual places like a kitchen pantry or bathroom closet can also help prevent loss. You may also want to consider conducting a home inventory before you leave just in case anything happens to your home.
Going on vacation should be an exciting and worry-free time. By taking a few precautions before your trip, you can help keep your mind at ease and reduce your risk of anything happening to your home in your absence. Having an adequate home insurance policy can also help protect yourself in the event of a loss — and here at Quincy Mutual Group, we’re happy to help review your policy and ensure you’re properly covered.
We hope these tips help you protect your family and your home. If you have more questions, however, we work with over 500 independent agents who are ready to help. Visit our website to find a local agent near you: bit.ly/QuincyFindAgent