As summer comes closer, more and more of us are planning on going away for vacation. Regardless of the length of your vacation, it’s important to keep a lived-in appearance. Signs that invite burglars or vandals include overgrown lawns, piled-up newspapers, a full mailbox and no lights at night.
Before you go, check out this pre-vacation checklist to make sure your house is squared away before you leave:
Leave someone you trust with a key
You never know what might come up. Leave a key with a neighbor or a friend just in case you need to grant them access. For example, you might remember just a little too late that you left the oven on.
Put lights on timers
Have a few of your lamps set up on timers. This will simulate activity in the house and deter crime.
Arrange for lawn mowing
Nothing screams empty like an overgrown lawn. Pay the teenager next door or hire a service, depending on how long you’ll be gone.
Stop mail and newspaper delivery
If you’re gone for just a weekend, you might not need to do this. However, for more than three days, it’s important to stop your mail and newspaper delivery or have a neighbor retrieve it. This helps minimize any signs that the house is temporarily uninhabited.
Set your thermostat
No, we don’t mean turn it off. You still do need a certain degree of climate control in your house, in both summer and winter. At the minimum, leave your heat on at 60 and in the summer, at 80. This will save you a bit on your utilities but maintain a safe temperature in your home.
Lower your water heater
Your water heater is constantly warming water. When you’re not there, you don’t need it. Turn it down or even off to save on your electric bill.