By this time of year, many of us have witnessed the annual migration of the snowbirds as they head back north. Even year-round Naples residents like to get away every now and then. There are plenty of great places to get away to not far from here, but before you pull the suitcases out of storage and pack up, you’ll want to think about preparing your house for vacation as well. Let’s look at 5 essential things to do before going on vacation.
Unfortunately, the migration of the snowbirds is something criminals are very aware of as well. They know that many Naples homes may be unoccupied for longer periods of time in the summer. That’s why, if you’re going to be gone for more than a few days you’ll want to make sure your home is safe both inside and out.
1.Set and Test Your Security Alarm
When was the last time you checked your home security system? It’s easy to “set-it-and-forget-it.” Make sure it’s still set (or reset for your absence). Call your alarm company and let them know you’re going to try it out. If your system has battery backup in case of power outages, make sure you have fresh batteries installed.
2. Notify the Neighbors
It’s a smart plan to let your neighbors or friends know that you’ll be away. That way they can keep their eyes open for suspicious activity. Besides, you’ll probably want someone to water plants and bring in the mail (if you haven’t stopped it at the Post Office).
3. Don’t Advertise Your Absence
You’ll want to make it look like someone is home. Your home security system may allow you to have lights come on at predetermined times. If not, you can purchase small timers for turning lights on automatically. If possible, change up the timing for the lights to a more random schedule. Arrange to have your lawn mowed if you’ll be gone for a while. Grass that hasn’t been mowed can be a signal that nobody is home.
4. Take a Walk-Through Before You Leave
Check major appliances (especially your refrigerator) to make sure everything is running properly so you won't come home to a mess. Also, check all the toilets in your home (even the ones you don't use regularly) to make sure there's no running water. Look for drips, too so that you don't discover water on the floor when you return.
5. Arrange for Someone to Check Your Home
If you’re going to be gone for a couple of weeks or more, it can be smart to have a friend (or even a property management company) actually go into your house to check it periodically. They can check to make sure appliances and HVAC systems are working. They can take a quick look around the inside and outside of the house to ensure that windows and doors haven’t been tampered with. This kind of activity in your home can keep potential prowlers away.
Taking a few steps to safeguard your home will provide you with some peace of mind and will allow you to better enjoy your time away and ensure that your home will be in good shape when you return.