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Summer Vacation? Tips to Protect Your Home

Thanks to Tom Capuano and Pillar to Post for these great tips for homeowners who plan on vacationing this summer:


An empty home is the ideal target for break-ins and burglaries, especially during the summer months.

Vacation should be a time to relax and unwind, but the thought of leaving your home and valuables unattended can cause stress and anxiety. Take the time to secure your home before you leave so your mind can be at ease while you are gone. Below is a list of some of the most important things you can do help make sure that when you return you will find everything just as you left it.

  • Inform a trusted neighbor that you are leaving town. For short trips request that they pick up and store your mail and paper deliveries.
  • For longer vacations, call your newspaper service and have your paper delivery placed on hold. Make sure to stop by the post office and request that your home mail delivery is stopped until you return.
  • Turn off your water main valve. (Unless you have a landscape irrigation system)
  • Make arrangements for someone to cut the grass, and to keep bushes and shrubs maintained especially around the front of the house.
  • Inform your alarm company that you are going on vacation.
  • Turn the volume down on your phone so passerby will not be alerted to unanswered calls. Avoid leaving messages on your answering machine that could alert callers to your vacation status, and turn off the volume.
  • Automatic timers for your light fixtures are an inexpensive purchase that should be set to your usual evening schedule. Televisions and radios can be put on timers to provide noise.
  • Leave a car in the driveway if possible, or ask your neighbor to park there occasionally.
  • Check the locks on all doors, windows, and fences. If you have a garage, lock it, if there is an automatic opener, unplug it.
  • Leave the blinds and curtains open as if you were home.
  • The day you leave for vacation try to make your departure as unobvious as possible. For road trips load your car up in the garage with the garage door closed. For airplane travel arrange for early morning or night time flights when your departure from your home will not alert witnesses that your house will be unoccupied.
  • Prepare for the worst by taking an inventory of your most valuable possessions. Pack jewelry and smaller objects into a safety deposit box.
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