Simple Steps to Keep Your Home Safe While You're Away
Whether you're headed for a few days at the beach, embarking on a cross-country road trip or setting up camp somewhere for several weeks, it's important that you take care of business at home before hitting the road.
But every year, there are sad tales of people returning from a vacation to burglarized homes or flooded basements. Taking a few simple steps before you begin your trip can help you avoid the heartache of returning to a home in disarray.
"Just like you've carefully planned your getaway, you need to carefully prepare your home for your absence," says Dave Borowski, director of technical training for Direct Energy.
WATCH: Preparing Your Home for Vacation
Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe While You're Away
Homeowners should create a pre-vacation checklist that focuses on two areas:
- Prevention of opportunities for crime
- Elimination of potential safety hazards
Some suggestions for minimizing crime:
- Call the post office and your newspaper provider and have them stop delivery while you're gone. You can also arrange for someone to pick up your delivered materials.
- If garbage is to be picked up during your vacation, arrange for someone to bring out the trash and then return the empty receptacles to your garage or house.
- If you're going to be away for an extended period of time, have someone mow your lawn as you would as if you were home.
- Use timers to run your lights and your television. A darkened house for more than one night is a pretty good giveaway that no one is home.
- Keep your travel plans to yourself, especially in public places. Letting friends and family members know you'll be out of town for a few days is fine, but don't discuss your specific vacation plans in larger group settings.
- If possible, have a neighbor move your car in and out of the driveway at least once a day.
- Keep your blinds at their normal height. Lowered blinds are another indicator that no one is home.
In terms of home safety and preparation, Borowski recommends the following:
"A few preventative steps can go a long way in terms of safety and your own peace of mind," says Borowski.
For more information on home safety and maintenance, visit our Learning Center. To learn more about protecting the vital systems in your home, call 1-888-733-1683 or view our home protection plans.
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