By Henry Moore
Nothing beats taking a break from the daily grind and packing your bags for a trip away from it all. Vacation makes it seem like time is almost standing still, but the reality is that back home, life goes on. When you’re on vacation, the last thing you want to do is spend your time worrying about whether or not your home is safe and secure. Here are six things you need to do before locking the front door and saying sayonara.
1. Adjust Your HVAC
Often times, people take vacations to escape the oppressive hot or cold climate of their area. While you’re away, your HVAC unit is still working hard to keep the air inside your home comfortable, but why make it do extra work? Adjusting your thermostat while away will reduce the chance of maintenance issues for your HVAC unit and save a few bucks on your utility bill. In the summer, set your degrees 4 degrees warmer, and if you’re traveling during the winter, lower your thermostat by the same amount.
2. Check Your Pipes
While you’re adjusting your HVAC unit, you should also take a moment to shut off your water system. There are countless stories of families coming home to find their waterline broken with a huge mess to clean up. To avoid dampening your vacation, turn off the flow of water into your home to prevent the likelihood of a catastrophe.
3. Stop Your Mail
The biggest fear many travelers face is the thought of being burgled while they’re away. Owning a security system is a good start to preventing a crime from happening in your home, but there are other things you can do to keep criminals away. Believe it or not, whether or not you’re home increases the chances of a break-in. If you can make it seem like you’re still home, you can avoid burglars targeting your home altogether. There are a lot of little things you can do to make it seem like you’re not away. Inform your local post office to stop your mail, and have someone tend to your lawn to make your home look occupied.
4. Phone a Friend
It’s always a good idea to have someone checking in on your property from time to time. Having a friend, family member, or neighbor stop by and look over your home can solve many problems for you all at once. They can bring in your mail, water your flowers, and make sure there are no signs of a break-in. Ask them to drop in a couple times while you’re away, and help put your mind at ease.
5. Install Security Lighting
Another great way to deter burglars is to install some security lighting on your property. A few strategically placed, motion-sensing lighting fixtures will stop burglars in their tracks. By shining a light on their dubious activities, you can spook them into leaving your home alone, protecting your valuables inside.
6. Lock Away Valuables
In the case that burglars do make it into your home, you don’t want all of your precious belongings laid out on your kitchen table. It’s a good idea to secure your valuables in a safe, hidden location. These items could be cash, jewelry, car keys, or anything else you wouldn’t want taken from you. To learn more about some home security tips and terms, check out this guide from Angie’s List.
Vacation is supposed to be a time to take a deep breath in and relax. Don’t let worries about home cloud your sunny vacation. Put your mind at ease and knock out this list before you turn the lock and key.
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