Vacation Proofing Your Home This Winter

Vacation-proofing your home for the weekend or the entire winter season is important. Regardless of the length of your hiatus - there are a number of things that need to be done before you jet-set to the warm weather. 

Safety precautions

Records show that burglaries tend to increase during the holiday season. Keep your mind at ease while on vacation by taking these precautions:

Ask a family member, neighbor or friend who lives near by to stop  by your place a few times while you're gone. If you don't have anyone to watch the house, explore your options with technology. There are number budget friendly security cameras and systems available. 

Make it look like you're home 

This can be tricky depending on your length of stay. Arrange for snow to be shoveled and mail to be checked. You want it to look like there is activity in your home. Leave a light on or purchase a battery operated light to save on electric bills. If you've got smart home technology you can use applications on  your mobile devices to control the lights in your home. Motion sensing lights outside garages and front doors are also helpful to help keep away intruders. 

Burglars aren't the only thing you need to be concerned about when leaving for an extended period of time. 

Turn off water valves

Returning home from holiday celebration to a pipe burst and damaged home? Reduce your chances by turning off the main water valve. 

Adjust your thermostat

Your wallet will thank you for this one. Turn your heat down to the 55-60 degree range to save you on energy and bills. 

Don't over share

Err on the side of caution when sharing the details of your vacation online. Depending on your privacy settings, anyone may be able to view the details of your whereabouts. 

Hide the spare key 

A spare key comes in handy when you lock yourself out, but it can also make a burglary a lot easier. When leaving on vacation make sure you do away with the spare key. Give it to someone you trust - or take the spares with you. 

Consider leaving your car in the driveway

Can you care handle the elements? If you're leaving for just a few days at a time, it might be smart to keep your car in the driveway to give the illusion that you're home. Just be sure to lock the car and to remove any valuable items from your car.