Planning a vacation this summer? Don't forget to take the necessary steps to protect your home the next time you go out of town! Here are some tips to keep your house safe:
- Consider hiring a sitter. The best way to make sure your house is safe while you're gone is to have someone you trust still living in it. You may be lucky enough to have a relative who'll move in temporarily and water the plants, feed the pets and pick up the newspapers. If not, there are services you can use for house-sitting and pet-sitting while you're away.
- Hold the mail. If you are leaving for more than a couple of days, call your local post office, or submit the request online, and ask them to hold your mail.
- Stop newspaper delivery. Make sure you stop service for the time you are on vacation, as a pile of yellowing newspapers are a clear sign that you are away.
- Checking for unexpected items. Fliers or yellow page book deliveries, and packages at your doorstep, are examples of additional items you’ll want to have a relative, neighbor or friend bring in while you are away.
- Keep up the exterior of your home. If you mow your lawn every week and things start to look overgrown and neglected, or a big snow storm hits and there is no sign of shoveling, it's easy to come to the conclusion that you're not around. If you plan on being away for an extended period of time, hire someone to take care of these chores in your absence.
- Don’t announce your trip. Show some caution when you talk about your trip. Do not announce it on social media and be aware of who's around when you discuss your trip in restaurants and even at work. Make sure that your children are discreet, too. Try to refrain from posting vacation photos on social sites until after you return home.
- Lock up. This seems so obvious, but it's easy to forget!