School is out, the grill is fired up and the sweet tea is flowing -it must be summertime in Tennessee! Get away’s are being planned, whether a week at the beach or a weekend camping at the lake and there are some reminders on keeping your home safe and secure while you’re away.
So before you start loading up the station wagon read this short article and then head out for your Summer Adventure!
Make sure you that you double check that all doors and windows are secure. It’s also a good idea to have more than one person check just to be on the safe side. There is nothing worse than getting an hour away from home and trying to remember if the back door was locked.. or if the oven was turned off. A few extra moments before you leave the driveway can reduce a lot of stress, and isn’t that what a vacation is all about?!
Let your neighbors know your schedule and have them collect your mail and pick up any papers or advertisements left in your yard or on your porch. Have someone park their car in your driveway at night if they can. Also make sure your neighbors have a way to contact you. Your cell phone is best but if your in an area without cell coverage, there should be a phone line available either at your resort or a local store where you can check for any messages. If they can, have your neighbor check your home’s doors and windows periodically just to make sure they remain secure.
Leaving your pet home is sometimes nice and sometimes necessary depending on where you are going. Having a dog (one that barks at strangers) outside can help keep any unwanted folks from getting easy access to your home. Having someone coming over to make sure pets are fed and watered daily is a great way to make sure your home is safe. If your pet stays indoors, please make sure to provide adequate cooling. Middle Tennessee gets hot in the summer and your pet will not be comfortable if temperatures get over 90 degrees. Leaving your thermostat between 80 and 85 will allow you home to stay cool enough without running up your utility bill.
If you have someone you trust you can always ask them if they’s like to live in your house while you’re away. That is the best security, so long as they are trustworthy and responsible. There are professional house sitters who charge a fee to stay while your away, if you decide to use them check their background and get references. Hopefully you will have friends or family who will enjoy getting our of their house and see it almost like a vacation. They may be happy to house sit for just a full refrigerator and pantry!
If you are unfortunate enough to have a break in while you’re on vacation you can at least make it difficult for your some of your valuables to be stolen. Wall or floor safes provide much better security than the bottom of the underwear drawer or a foil wrapped package in your freezer. Ideally you can have a safety security box at your bank. One item often overlooked is the data on your home computer. You may not think much about having a $500.00 computer stolen, but if that computer is the only place all your photo’s from the last 10 years are kept that’s a whole other story. If you haven’t created a back-up of all your important computer data, STOP READING THIS and do it now! There are so many inexpensive options available and if you don’t know where to start call your most computer knowledgeable friend and have them help.
While we are on the topic of computers, some folks love to post updates to any number of Social Media websites. Just remember, that even though you may think only your friends can see your new sunburn, if it looks painful enough they may just share it with all their friends and before you know if your vacation has gone viral! It is hard to imagine that some people would actually spend there time looking for homes of families who have gone on vacation so they can easily break in and steal or even just vandalize the property.
Vacations are a great time to get away and enjoy family and friends. With a few precautions you can be sure that your home and valuables will remain safe and secure while you are having fun and making new memories which will last a lifetime!
Phil Thompson Properties provides home and commercial property rentals throughout Dickson County in Middle Tennessee.