Vacation Security Checklist
Before you head out on vacation (or even if you stay), improve your home’s security and your peace of mind with these suggestions:
l Replace broken screens, latches and windowpanes. Secure gates and sheds.
l Trim shrubbery.
l Don’t hide house keys outside.
l In summer, turn off water heater; put A/C at 82 degrees. In winter, leave water heater on cool setting; put thermostat at 50 degrees.
l Toss perishable food.
l Give a neighbor a spare key. Ask them to get mail and newspapers, put trash cans in front of your house on trash day, mow and rake the lawn, and/or park in the driveway.
l Turn off iron, ice-maker, electronics, and phone ringer.
l Leave automatic sprinklers on, put timers on lamps, and install motion-activated lights outside.
l Leave draperies open slightly on upper floors.
l Don’t announce your absence with answering machine messages or notes on the front door.
l Remove garage door openers and house keys from cars.
l Put valuables in a safe-deposit box.
l Call your local police to let them know you’ll be traveling. Some departments send patrols out to your home while you’re away.
l For further peace of mind, prepay your bills so you won't have to worry about them while you're away.