Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe From Unwanted Visitors on Your Summer Vacation

by Ben SanfordAugust 1, 2018

Going on Vacation? Here’s How to Ensure All Remains Well in Your Absence

Summer is here; the glorious long days, the beautiful weather, the trips to far-off and exotic destinations – it’s all waiting for you to step out the door and enjoy. But what happens to your home when you’re away for a few days, a week, or even longer? If you take an extended vacation this summer, or even a weekend away, do you have a plan to make sure your home and everything inside of it stays safe in your absence?

According to security experts, “summer is the peak season for burglary,” and according to statistics compiled by the National Centers for Environmental Information, 2017 was the costliest year ever for property damage due natural disasters in the U.S. Less dramatic, but potentially just as devastating, is the possibility that wild animals or insects may take up residence in your home if given the opportunity while you’re away.

In this article, we take a look at what you can do to keep your home safe from unwanted visitors while you’re away on your summer vacation this year.

home security

1 – Lock Everything Down

For starters, make sure your windows and doors are all securely locked. Good windows and door locks may not keep a professional thief out of your home, but they may discourage an opportunistic intruder who notices that your home has been uninhabited for some time.

Also, make sure that your exterior walls, foundation, roof, and eaves are all in good condition and that no holes have developed over the past year – this will keep animals and insects from taking up residence while you’re away.

2 – Seal Up Your Home

Rodents like rats and squirrels (as well as the big ones, like raccoons) can fit through surprisingly small openings and would love to take up residence in your home while it is unoccupied.

3 – Indemnify the Property

Don’t forget to purchase insurance. Even if you rent a house or apartment, insurance is a good first basic level of protection against fire, flood, burglary, and other acts of man and nature.

4 – Put Things on a Timer

Purchase a timer for your lights to make your home look occupied even when it isn’t. Also, make sure to have your mail collected by a friend or neighbor, or held by your local post office. Let your newspaper delivery person (if you still get the paper delivered) know to hold your subscription while you’re away.

5 – Add Additional Security

Home alarm systems have come a long way since the 1970s, and they are also considerably more affordable than they used to be. Protecting your home and belongings with a home security system and service may be one of the best investments you’ll ever make.

home security

6 – Do What You Can Against the Elements

If you live in an area that’s prone to wildfires, tornadoes, or hurricanes, then you likely already know what you can do to prepare and protect your home against these natural disasters. Just make sure you do so before you leave for your summer trip. You won’t be there to do it in a hurry if you need to, and likely won’t be able to get back in time, either.

7 – Employ a House Sitter

One of the best ways to protect your home while it’s unoccupied is to keep it from being unoccupied at all. If you can, be sure to get a friend or relative to house sit for you while you are gone, or at least to come by on a regular (preferably daily) basis. This simple act will go a long way toward protecting your home.

In a pinch, you can always hire someone to house sit while you’re away, but make sure to get (and check) their references before you hand over the keys.

home security

Relaxing in Safety and Security While on Vacation

Nothing is better than a great summer vacation – especially the kind that refreshes, revitalizes, and reinvigorates while you let the stress of the work and school year melt away. Make your next summer trip the most relaxing it can be by taking the steps necessary to protect your home and your belongings while you’re away.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.