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Do your summer plans include a summer vacation?  If so, don’t forget to prepare your home for your absence. Whether you’re gone for weeks or just a long weekend, these simple steps will keep your home safe and give you peace of mind while you’re away. 

Do a Walk-Through: Give your home a thorough inspection before leaving town. Check that all windows, doors, and gates are secure, and that shrubs and bushes are cut-back and trimmed (especially around windows). Unplug any unnecessary electronics/appliances and raise the thermostat so it isn’t cooling an empty house. Clean-out the fridge of any produce that will expire while you are away, and empty trash and recycling. 

Turn on Lights: It is so simple, but lighting is one of the best deterrents of home break-ins. To create the illusion you are home, set timers on interior lights and have motion activated lighting on the exterior of your home. Put porch lights on light-sensors so the entry points of your home are always illuminated or purchase smart lighting that can be controlled directly from your phone. 

Utilize Cameras: Consider installing exterior cameras or a video doorbell system for an added layer of security. Not only does it allow you to visually check in on your home while away, but also the ability to speak directly with those who approach your door. Best of all, home cameras and video doorbell systems are becoming very affordable and easy to install. 

Tell a Neighbor: Ask a trusted neighbor to keep a watchful eye while you are away. Let them know your travel plans, when you expect to return, and how they can contact you if needed. Most neighbors won’t mind checking your mail, picking up sales flyers and papers, taking out your trash, and looking out for package deliveries.