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Tips For Keeping Your Home Safe

Chances are your mind will be on the beach a good week before your body is, but try not to let the anticipation of your upcoming Bahamas vacation cloud your thoughts so much that you accidentally leave your home unprotected. 

 
There’s nothing wrong with hitting the escape button and taking that well-deserved trip you’ve been saving for, but be sure to take precautions before you set sail. Better safe than sorry, right? Creating a home safety checklist (and following it) would be beneficial, no matter the length of your trip; not to mention it will keep you from obsessing about the security of your home when you should be checking out of your day-to-day life and into that all-inclusive Bahamas resort.
 
So, what should be on this ‘home safety checklist?” Here are a few ideas. All may not apply to your home, but most of them defintely will...
 
1. Get a Sitter
 
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The easiest and most effective way of making sure your home is safe is to have a trusted friend or family member live in it while you’re gone. You know, to water the plants, feed the pets, take in the mail and newspapers- that sort of thing. And nothing is a bigger deterrent to a possible break-in than an occupant. You could also hire someone to do those things. There are services that will help dog/plant/mail-sit for you, but that option can get pricey. Just get cousin Jennifer and her fiancé and leave them a gift card to a pizza place.
 
2. Collect Your Keys
 
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Remove all spare keys from their hiding places. Even the one around back taped under the patio table, and the one behind the gutter drain. These places aren’t as ingenious as you think. An experienced burglar knows just where to check. Instead, give one (and only one) spare key to a neighbor for emergencies.

 

3. Ask for Help

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If you opted not to have a sitter, then do a few things to make the home seem occupied, like leave a car in the driveway- being sure to take out any spare house keys or garage door openers.

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Have someone mow the lawn if you’ll be away for over a week.

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Leave a couple of smaller-wattage lights on. The cost of the electricity with be a small price to pay for the amount of safety it can bring. You can also set automatic timers for lights so conserve electricity and give the illusion that someone is home. While you're at it, unplug any unnecessary appliances and electronics like computers, TVs, toasters, radios, coffee makers- just in case of a power surge, and for safety’s sake.

4. No Posting

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Avoid posting about your vacation publicly on social sites. This could tip off would-be burglars, leaving your home vulnerable. Just post the pictures upon your return.

5. Turn Off The Water

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Turn off your main water valve and any outside water taps depending on how long you’ll be away. If traveling during the Winter, have a neighbor come over and shut off the water and drain your pipes to keep the lines from freezing when the temperature dips down.

6. Lock Up

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It may seem like common sense, but do make sure all windows and doors are locked. Even place a strip of wood in the inside frame as an extra obstacle/deterrent. 

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