Vacation Security Checklist
Before you go on vacation, here are some tips to improve your home’s security:
Replace broken screens, latches and windowpanes. Secure/lock gates and sheds.
Clean up front yard by trimming shrubs, weeds and trees. An overgrown yard can be a sign of a vacant home.
Do not hide any house keys outside, instead give a neighbor a spare key.
In the summer, turn off the water heater and leave the A/C at 82 degrees. In the winter, turn the water heater to a cool setting and put the thermostat at 50 degrees (unless you have pets and need it warmer).
Clean out your fridge by getting rid of perishable food.
Have the post office hold your mail.
Ask a neighbor to pick up flyers or newspapers left on your doorstep, and put trash/recycle cans in front of your house on collection day and/or put them away if you left them out.
Turn off iron, ice-maker, electronics, and phone ringer.
Leave automatic sprinklers/drip system on, put timers on lamps, and install motion-activated lights outside.
Leave blinds/shutters/draperies slightly open on upper floors.
Do not announce your vacation/absence on social media, answering machine messages, or notes on the front door.
Remove garage door openers and house keys from cars left in the driveway.
Put valuables in a safe-deposit box.
Call your local police or alarm company to let them know you’ll be traveling. Some police departments send patrols out to your home while you are away.
If you have pets, ask a friend or neighbor to check on them daily to provide food, water and playtime, or board them if possible.
Prepay your bills so you won't have to worry about them while you're away.