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Read this before your summer vacation

June 10, 2019

 A plastic bucket and shovel on a beach with waves in the background

You’ve booked the tickets. Read every guide book. Gotten recommendations for the best things to do from people who have been there. Yes, you’re ready for your vacation! But a successful summer trip isn’t just about planning for your destination. It’s also about planning for what will happen at your home while you’re gone. And with a few simple precautions, you’ll have more fun knowing your home is safe while you’re gone.

Ask a friend

An overflowing mailbox and papers on the lawn practically scream, “We’re not home!” Stop your mail and newspaper delivery or have a trusted friend or neighbor pick them up every day and bring them inside. While they’re at it, ask them to remove any flyers from your front door.

That same friend may be willing to water your plants and mow your lawn while you’re away, but if not, schedule a yard service to do it. Either way, your well-kept yard won’t tip off anyone that you’re not home.

If you don’t have timers for your lights, have your friend switch various lights on and off as they come and go. Also, make sure valuables aren’t visible from the windows, especially if you don’t regularly pull the curtains or blinds.

Remember your garage

If you have an attached garage, remember it can be an easy entryway into your home without the proper precautions. When you leave, lock the door between the house and the garage, and unplug the garage door opener. Be sure to lock windows, too – and if you have to leave a car parked on the street, be sure to remove your garage door opener from it.

Don’t brag

…at least not until after you’re home. It’s tempting to announce your trip on social media beforehand, not to mention posting photos while you’re away, but while you’re keeping Aunt Martha updated, you may also be alerting those with less benevolent intentions to your absence.

Sometimes all the precautions in the world aren’t enough to stave off bad luck. If you return and it’s clear that someone broke into your home, don’t enter it. Instead, refrain from touching anything — the door frame, the garage door handle, etc. – and call 911.

So while you’re putting the finishing touches on your vacation plans, don’t forget to spare a thought for the property you’re leaving behind. With some extra planning, you and your family will have more fun knowing you’ve protected your home.