January 14, 2015

Winter is upon us and for many, that means it’s time for a trip down south. The last thing you want while soaking up the sun on the beach is to worry about whether your house is safe. Take these precautions and have peace of mind on your next vacation:

1. Ask a friend or family member to keep an eye on your house while you’re gone. If you don’t have someone who can stay in your house while you’re on vacation, at least have them collect your newspapers and mail. A pile of newspapers on the front porch is a big giveaway for burglars. During the winter, make sure the driveway is kept shovelled and in the summer, the lawn is mown regularly.

2. Don’t broadcast your empty house on social media. It can be tempting to tell all of your friends and acquaintances about that great trip you have planned, but consider waiting until you get back to make it that public.

3. Tell your alarm company that you’ll be away. That way, if your alarm goes off, they’ll know how to reach you or your emergency contact. Also, make sure your alarm is in good working order before you leave.

4. Do a sweep of your house and make sure all non-essential small appliances and electronics are unplugged. This will not only help prevent power surges and potential fires while you’re away, but it will also conserve energy—and lead to savings on your electrical bills. Also, turn off your water valve to prevent your pipes from freezing.

5. Don’t make your house look like there’s no one home. If you have a friend or family member watching the house, ask them to come over every now and then to turn lights on. If you’re leaving a car behind, keep it in the driveway rather than in the garage. If you usually have all of your curtains open while you’re home, resist the urge to close them before you leave on vacation. Making your house look lived in will ensure it isn’t an easy target for potential burglars.

Following these 5 tips will help make sure that you can enjoy a worry-free vacation. You deserve it!

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