With summer lurking right around the corner, people are starting to plan for a vacation to get away from the usual hustle and bustle of school and work.
Summer vacations are the absolute best. However, it will be a whole lot better if your mind is at ease after you’ve made all the necessary preparations to keep your home safe, secure, and ready for anything that may happen while you’re away.
Here are 10 ways to prepare your home for your time away during the summer:
- Make sure your house is clean and clear, both inside and out. With all the excitement that comes with planning a summer vacation, it is common to forget removing the filth that has accumulated throughout the years from their houses. Because of this, experts say it is important to allow time for power washing your home’s wall surfaces, clearing the gutters, and cleaning the windows during the pre-summer vacation planning, so that they would last longer.
- Ensure the doors and locks are properly functioning and closed when you leave. It is always best to double check all locks and doors before leaving your home for the summer. All possible points of entry should be assessed for any damages to avoid any mishaps while you’re away. Checking whether the garage door is functioning well should also be on top of your To-Do list before you head out— even if it’s only for a short period of time— to prevent any form burglary from happening.
- Never leave your windows open even when you are home. Some people tend to leave their windows ajar at night to let the cool air in and dispel the summer heat. However, experts advise against it. After all, there are better ways to cool down without tempting thieves into making your home their next target.
- Have an alarm system installed. Installing an alarm system should be a requisite for any homeowner. It will serve both as an alert to neighbors in case of a burglary and as a way of scaring off the thieves from breaking and entering into your house. It would also be best to put up a sign on your yard, door or window, stating that such security system is installed in the house to discourage potential intruders from even thinking about targeting your home.
- Make sure someone mows the lawn even when you’re away. An overgrown lawn is an obvious sign that no one is home. This might cause burglaries and other unwanted incidents to occur. Having the lawn trimmed at least once every two weeks is advisable for people who plan to go on an out-of-the-city vacation for an extended time. Also, ensure that the person you hire to do this task is trustworthy, so you can also have him or her walk through your house to check if everything is in order whenever he or she visits.
- Be cautious about what you post on the Internet. Social media is a powerful tool that can bring about positive results as well as unfortunate incidents. Sharing about your travels for the summer is not a bad idea as long as you remember not to do it publicly. This is because posting your whereabouts for anyone to see might let the wrong people know that your house is empty. To avoid any unwanted attention, apply necessary precautions by selecting the appropriate options on your social media accounts’ security and privacy settings.
- Set the timers on your appliances and lights or have someone you trust to turn them on while you’re away. A dark house in the middle of the night is an indicator that nobody is home. Although people are not closely monitoring your abode, they are bound to notice if the lights are always off for a long period of time. Security experts say it is best to set timers for your lights and appliances— like your radio or television— to switch on at night time. If your home electronics do not have such functions, you can ask your trusted neighbor to switch them on and off while you’re away.
- Put your regular subscriptions and mail on temporary hold. Mail and newspapers piling up on the lawn is another indicator that nobody is home. This is why experts advise those who are planning to go on a lengthy summer trip to put those subscriptions on hold. Some subscriptions offer special services where the customer may opt for their mail to be temporarily sent to their vacation house. In the event that you failed to do this before going out, you can always contact your neighbor or a person you trust to take the mail from your lawn to keep them from piling up.
- Invest in pest control and remove shrubs and trees that might block windows and doors. Remove all plants and trees that might provide potential hiding places for thieves so you don’t encourage them to target your house. Also, make sure to use pest control in your home. Most people might think that thieves are the only ones they need to protect their house from, but, believe it or not, pests pose an equal threat to people’s properties. Make sure to invest in pest control to avoid termites and carpenter ants from getting to your things.
- Entrust your home to someone you know well. While electronic devices such as alarm systems might effectively deter burglars from taking your belongings, having another person watch over your abode is still the best option to keep it safe and secure while you’re out on vacation. It can be your neighbor or a distant relative, as long as this individual can be left in charge of securing the home and maintaining the cleanliness of the building while you’re away.
Those living in subdivisions or gated communities can also alert the security staff and local police, especially if your vacation lasts longer than a week. This way, law enforcers can drive by your house more often while they are on patrol to make sure that everything is the way it should be.