by Kristen Levine

Heading away from home for a few days, a few weeks, or longer? Make sure your home is safe and
sound, and ready for you when traveling’s done and you’re back to settle in.

1. Arrange for house check-ins with trusted friends, neighbors, or housesitting services. Professional
housesitting providers will watch your home for a fee and can be found through service websites that
vet and authenticate possible candidates. If you have pets that will not be going with you or boarded
during your vacation, pet-sitters can visit daily and do check-ins on both your furry friends and your

2. Make sure your house looks lived in. A home with lights on deters unwanted interest; purchasing
and setting up timers for lights in specific parts of the home and garage provides an extra layer of

3. Move potentially hazardous or flammable materials to secure locations on your property, or
dispose of them before you leave. Check that potential risks like lint catchers in dryers are cleaned
before you leave, clean and close up fireplaces or pellet stoves, and plug in appliances and
electronics into surge protectors in case of power shorts.

4. Arrange for lawn care, mail holding, and pausing of other deliveries during prolonged absences. If
no one is checking in on your home for a few days, don’t make it obvious to potential unwanted
visitors that no one is home. Remember: don’t advertise that you aren’t home!

5. Notify your home security provider of your absence, including unexpected travel delays leaving or
returning home. Any sign of unusual activity will be reported to you and can help response time for
emergency services. Monitoring services are available from most home security providers through
mobile apps.

While vacations are a time to relax and leave worries about home behind, it’s important to keep your
home’s safety in mind while you’re absent. Being mindful of leaving home secured, cleaned, and safe
means one less stressor while abroad.