In all of your vacation excitement – and the joys of packing – don’t forget to take care of making your home safe while you’re away!
From the outside
- Put your mail service on hold online or by completing the form at your local post office.
- Stop delivery on all newspaper service. If you receive copies without subscriptions, ask a neighbor to pick them up for you.
- Ask that same neighbor to clear your porch/front step of any deliveries and solicitations. Nothing says “I’m empty” like a house with piled up papers and things hanging from the doorknob!
- Since we’re already imposing on the neighbor, ask them to also take your trash to the curb for you on trash day.
- Use timers to turn lights on throughout the day and night. Leaving some key blinds and curtains open a bit will also signal someone’s home.
- Check with a neighbor or family member about leaving a car in your driveway, or consider leaving your second car out.
- Make sure your driveways/sidewalks are cleared of snow and your lawn is maintained while you’re gone.
- Bring all hide-a-keys inside and leave a key with your poor put-upon neighbor instead.
From the inside
- Set the temperature in the house to something reasonable – whether that be heat or air – but not as comfy as you’d have it if you were home.
- Clean out the fridge! Deliver perishables that won’t last to your helpful neighbor and turn the temp down just a smidge. Since it will be shut for the duration of your trip, it will hold its temperature better.
- Make sure you take out all inside trash before you leave. ick.
- Shut off the water to your washer and dishwasher, turn off pilot lights and set your hot water heater to vacation mode or shut it off, if appropriate.
- Unplug any unused electronics or appliances to conserve electricity.
- Lock all doors and windows, close your garage, and set the house alarm.
- Make a copy of your passport and other identification, and compile a list of the credit cards you’re bringing.
- Clean out your wallet of any unnecessary credit cards and rewards cards. The less you bring, the less you have to lose!
- Be smart – no flashing wads of cash or using unlit ATM locations, especially at night. You’re safer going inside a grocery store or gas station.
- Use a business address, if possible, for all luggage tags and your cell phone number so you can be found if your luggage is too!
- Costume jewelry is your friend. Leave the good stuff at home.
- Consider using identification for your kids – such as tattoos.
Now you can enjoy your vacation even more knowing that your home and family are protected!