There’s still time to sneak in a summer vacation before the kids go back to school. Before you go, there are a few things you should do to protect your home while you’re gone, and ease your reentry when you return.
Make it hard for burglars to get in
- Collect any spare keys you have hidden outside.
- Install a motion-sensitive exterior light.
- Park your car inside your garage. If you can’t, be sure to remove any valuables and the garage door opener from your vehicle.
- Make sure all doors and windows are locked, including pet doors. Don’t forget the door between the garage and the house.
- Disconnect the garage door opener receiver, or manually lock the door.
Safeguard your home
- Florida experiences a lot of storms and lightning strikes, so unplug electronics, WiFi routers, printers, and computers to keep them safe from power surges. (This will also save you on your electric bill, because some electronics keep drawing power even when they’re turned off.)
- Turn off the water main.
- Turn off your water heater (if you’ve turned off the water main), or turn the temperature down.
- Raise the temperature on the thermostat instead of turning off your air conditioning to protect your home and belongings from Florida’s high heat and humidity.
- Avoid any unpleasantly smelly surprises by throwing away any food that might go bad before you return, and make sure you take out the kitchen trash before you go.
Don’t advertise the fact that you’re not home
- Stop newspaper delivery and put a hold on your mail.
- Wait to post your travel plans and experiences on social media until you return from your trip.
- Don’t leave an outgoing voice message on your answering machine saying you’re out of town.
- Help your home look lived-in by connecting interiors lights to a timer, and set them to come on at different times.
- Hire someone or ask a friend or trusted neighbor to take care of your yard—mow the grass, water if necessary, and generally keep an eye on things. A big tree limb down in your driveway for several days is a major clue that no one’s home!
- Consider hiring a house sitter to watch over everything while you’re gone, especially if you have pets. There’s something about knowing there is someone at home, and your pets will really appreciate being able to stay in their own environment.
- If you don’t want or need a house sitter, leave emergency contact information with a neighbor.
- Let your home security company know you’ll be out of town, and give them the names and contact information of your house sitter or a neighbor who has agreed to keep an eye on your house.
- Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway a couple of times so your home doesn’t look deserted.
Enjoy your vacation, safe in knowing your homeowners insurance is on the job protecting your assets, and that you’ve done all you can to keep your home safe while you’re away. And please give us a call at 813-672-4200 if you have any questions about your homeowners insurance, or you need a free, no-obligation quote.