Planning For Vacations & Extended Absences
Planning For Vacations and Extended Absences
Protecting your home while you’re away
GROWTH by NCRC
We are in the dog days of summer—the last few weeks to get away and enjoy the sunshine before school starts and cooler weather sets in.
But planning for vacations can be stressful at times. Making sure you have everything you need to enjoy your time away can be so overwhelming thatyou forget one of the most important to-do’s….protecting your home! August is a popular vacation month, making it also a month when burglaries peak. To ensure your home is protected while you are away, we’ve created a checklist to help you keep your home safe and secure.
Planning for Vacation Checklist
Inside your home:
- Set timers on interior lights– This helps to deter burglars who look for crimes of opportunity. It’s best to make your house look like someone is home.
- Power surges– You never know when a power surge may occur, so it’s best to be prepared. A best practice is to disconnect your computer, TV, stereo and other electronics, or make sure they’re plugged safely into a surge protector.
- Don’t make status updates of your whereabouts– Broadcasting your location on social media can be dangerous. It leaves an opening for a possible burglar, so it’s best to wait until you’re back from vacation to announce that kind of information.
- Secure valuables– If your jewelry and other valuable items aren’t already in a secure area or safe, now would be a good time to do so. This helps to ensure you’re not leaving anything valuable in plain sight that a burglar might be able to spot easily.
- Set your HVAC– It’s important to set a programmable thermostat to lower the cost of heat or air conditioning usage. Don’t forget to change out the thermostat battery.
- Protect your pipes– Make sure your pipes located in vulnerable areas like attics, basements and crawlspaces are insulated. In extremely cold weather, set your thermostat to 55 degrees or above. You can also ask your neighbor or a trusted person to stop by to check on your house and periodically turn on the faucets to help ensure the pipes don’t freeze.
- Check doors and windows– Always make sure to double-check that all your doors and windows are locked.
Outside your home:
- Arrange for lawn care- Keep your lawn/landscaped tended to by a local service or trusted neighbor. It’s also best before you leave to trim tree branches that might allow access for a burglar to climb and access your house.
- Plan exterior lighting- Set exterior lights on timers to deter burglars.
- Don’t leave spare keys outdoors– Collect any hidden spare keys from the outside of your home. Burglars look for popular hiding places, like underneath mats and potted plants
- Lock your garage– Even if there isn’t an entrance to your house from the garage, there still might be a chance for items to be stolen. Make sure you secure the door and any entrances to the garage.
Practicing these steps before you leave for vacation, or an extended period of time, should ensure your house is protected and secure giving you peace of mind to enjoy your time away. Need a reminder? Download our PDF checklist and keep it handy.