By Kelly O'Ryan and Erick Blackwelder
Many lucky families are planning holiday trips to cure their winter blues. Here are some important things to remember if you leave your home for several days.
- Make sure to hold the mail and newspaper. If you can't have someone pick it up every day, it's a sure giveaway that nobody's home and can be a green light for burglars.
- If possible, leave a key with someone you trust, preferably a neighbor and have them keep an eye on your home while you're gone. Make sure to offer returning the favor and thank them with a gift when you return.
- Unplug all electronics that don't need to used like the television, coffee maker, and home computers.
- Lower the temperature on your water heater.
- If you can, leave a car in the driveway and use timers to turn on outdoor and indoor lights to give the impression that someone is home. Leaving the porch light on the entire time you're gone is a bad idea. If you don't have a timed light, you can leave an interior light on for the duration of your trip as long as you can't easily notice it during the day.
- As excited as you may be to go on vacation, avoid advertising it over Facebook and Twitter. Also, keep this in mind while posting updates from your cell phone on vacation.
- If you have access to one, place all your valuables in a safe or safe deposit box.
- Remember, if your house is on the market, you can ask your REALTOR® to stop by and check in. While you're on vacation, it's a great time for showings because you won't have schedule conflicts.
- Turn off the water supply connections to your
clothes washer. Washer hoses have been
know to burst, and you don't want to come
back to a flooded home. (It's a good time
to call your insurance agent and make sure
you have coverage for water damage on
your home insurance policy)
- Avoid inserting an auto-responder on your
personal email account, telling folks you
will be out of town. Yes, your employer
may require you to do so on your work
email address, but just say, "I will be
out of the office from (date) to (date).
By using the words, "Out of the office",
you won't be tipping-off your plans to
If you follow these tips the next time you are out of town, you will most likely protect your house and your peace of mind.