Protecting Your Home During Summer Vacation

by Lindsay DurrenbergerJuly 7, 2011

When I was a kid, the best part about summer was the annual vacation trip my family would take. Our yearly vacation destination was always a surprise; whether we went deep into the mountains or down by the water at a quiet beach, it was always so wonderful to spend two weeks relaxing without a care in the world.

My mom wasn’t ever carefree, though. She was always worried about our house while we were away (and with good reason, too.) According to the Insurance Information Institute, most residential break-ins occur during the months of July and August when families are away on vacation.

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The best trick to discouraging crooks from breaking in? Look like you’re home even when you’re not. Here are some ways to do that:

First Things First

Lock everything up and use dead-bolts if possible. Make sure to get all windows and doors, as well as the garage door and outside gates.

Work the System

A home security system is the best, sure-fire way to make sure your home stays protected. Also, advertising your security system with stickers and signs adds another protective element.

Send Mixed Signals

Sometimes, crooks can hear through your walls (especially if you live in an apartment.) Change your voicemail phone greeting to something generic (that is, not a greeting that states you’re drinking margaritas in Tahiti for two weeks) and turn your phone ringer down so no one can hear that you’re not answering your phone.

Fetch!

If you can, ask a good friend or trustworthy neighbor to collect your mail and newspapers and hold on to them for you until you get back. If that isn’t an option, or you’ll be gone an extensive amount of time and don’t wish to burden a neighbor that long, you can have the mail service hold your mail.

Groom Your Home

Make sure to mow your lawn right before you leave so it maintains its freshly shorn look as long as possible during your trip. Also, trim shrubs and bushes in front of windows so they are easily visible.

Light Up

Set light timers to go on and off throughout the day inside your home. You can also add motion sensor lights outside to illuminate any crook trying to accost your home.

Seems pretty simple, right? By following these easy steps you not only ensure a safe home while you’re away, but you also maintain your sanity while you’re on vacation by eliminating worry. Go ahead; get out and enjoy your vacation!

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Lindsay Durrenberger

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