Home Security: Take Steps to Secure Your Home While on Vacation

burglar, robbery, break-in, home

Whether you’re heading to the beach, setting sail at sea, or taking a cross-country road trip, your summer vacation is sure to be spectacular. But before you hit the road, take home security into consideration to make sure that you don’t come home to any unpleasant surprises. Home security is an important part of any trip plan, and summer is a hot season for home burglaries, with break-ins typically peaking in July and August.

To make sure that your home security is up to par and you truly enjoy your trip, run through the following home security and vacant home checklist well before you pack your bags.

  • Turn off the water to your sinks, showers, toilets, dishwasher, and washing machine.diy home security
  • Unplug TVs, computers, radios, lamps and other small appliances.
  •  To minimize the risk of electrical fires, turn off all non-essential electrical circuit breakers in your home’s electrical box (such as anything other than your heating system, security system, and outdoor lighting). Well before you’re under pressure to figure out which are which, take time to label circuits with small colored dot stickers, using green for nonessential and red for essential.
  • Turn off your water heater. If it’s electric, turn of the large breaker assigned to it at the main electrical panel. For gas water heaters, turn the valve to the pilot position or turn it off completely, but only if you know how to relight it and will be away for an extended period of time.
  • To minimize the risk of electrical fires, turn off all non-essential electrical circuit breakers in your home’s electrical box (such as anything other than your heating system, security system, and outdoor lighting). Well before you’re under pressure to figure out which are which, take time to label circuits with small colored dot stickers, using green for nonessential and red for essential.
  • If you’ll be away for a weekend, set your air conditioner to 80 degrees to lower air conditioning costs; if you’ll be gone longer, shut it down entirely.

Make it more difficult for a burglar to target your home by making sure of the following:

  • Keep shrubs and bushes trimmed, leaving fewer places for a burglar to hide.
  • If you will be away for an extended time, arrange for lawncare so an overgrown yard doesn’t signal an empty house.
  • Adjust shades and curtains to a normal look.  Leaving them closed down completely alerts passersby that you’re not home.  Leaving them open allows prying eyes to case your home’s contents.
  • Have someone collect your mail, packages and newspapers.
  • Lock up!  It sounds simple, but it only takes one forgotten window or door to let a burglar have his way with your belongings.

Besides being protected against burglary, mechanical problems can also easily develop in a house left vacant and cause major damage that might not be discovered until you return.  In the event of a power outage, a Generac standby generator will restore full power to your home within seconds, 24/7, even when you’re not there. Don’t come home to burst pipes, flooding, mold growth, or spoiled food.

The American Red Cross suggests that during power outages, permanently installed standby generators are better suited for providing backup power to the home than portable generators. An automatic standby generator senses an outage and begins to produce power immediately. There are no extension cords to plug in, gas tanks to fill or switches to flip. Alternatively, portable generators can cause hazards such as carbon monoxide poisoning from toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or fire.

Automatic standby generators operate on natural gas or liquid propane vapor, so there are none of the fuel storage, spillage, spoilage or odor concerns that are common with gasoline or diesel models. Because of their favorable emissions profile, gaseous-fueled generators are becoming increasingly popular as an environmentally conscious solution for backup power needs.  This is also an option you never have to worry about.  If power goes out while you are away, your refridgerator, sump pump, lights and timers will all still operate normally.

When it comes to home security and home safety, a few simple steps can prevent both burglaries and mechanical failures to your home.

Leave a Reply