The summer months are the perfect time for relaxing, soaking up the sun, and getting away. Once you double check that you’ve packed everything you need for a stress-free vacation, don’t forget to check home security off your list. The last thing you want is to return from your vacation to find that your house has been broken into. Not sure where to start? The HIG team has your back and is here to offer some helpful tips you can take to protect your home while you’re away.

1. Don’t post your location on social media.

Whether you’re enjoying a day trip to Horseneck Beach in the summer or jetting off for a week-long getaway to some tropical destination in February, save the updates for after your trip. We know you are excited to take photos with your friends and family and to share them with all your followers across social media, but we highly advise against uploading photos or sharing your location while you’re still out of town. No matter how private your settings are, anything online is still public information and by checking in at your destination and sharing photos, you are alerting people to the fact that you are away from your home.

2. Make it look like you’re home.

Even though you’ve packed up and are ready to say goodbye to your home for some time, you still want to give off the illusion that you haven’t left. Setting timers on your lights, indoor and out, is a great way to make it look like someone is home while you’re away. Installing outdoor motion sensor lights is another way to deter against unwanted intruders.

If your travels extend past a weekend, you should consider calling the post office to hold your mail or ask a trusted friend or family member to collect it for you. Also, be sure to mow your lawn in the summer or shovel your driveway in the winter before you leave for your vacation. It’s a smart idea to arrange for a maintenance service or a friendly neighbor to keep your lawn groomed and driveway clear while you’re enjoying your adventure. Nothing says “I’m not home” like an overflowing mailbox, a stack of newspapers on your front steps, a driveway that isn’t shoveled, or an overgrown lawn.

3. Alert your alarm company and a trusted neighbor.

Do you have a security or alarm system? Be sure to set it before you leave. You should also notify your alarm company to let them know your travel dates. This way, if your alarm were to be set off, authorities will be able to respond accordingly.

In addition to your alarm company, you should inform a trusted neighbor or friend of your travel dates. This way, they can keep a watchful eye on your home and contact you in case of an emergency.

4. Unplug and turn off appliances.

If you’re planning on being away from your house for an extended period of time, you’ll want to unplug electronics and turn off appliances. This will not only help reduce energy consumption and save you money on your bills, but will also protect your electronics in the event of a power outage or lightning strike. Take the time to unplug appliances and devices like your microwave toaster oven, television and cable router, and any devices with external power supplies such as laptops or video game consoles. Since no one will be home, there’s no reason to keep your home cool — turn off your air conditioning unit and lower your thermostat as well.

5. Lock up.

Once all of your bags are packed and you’re ready to head out the door, the last and most important thing you’ll want to do is lock up. Be sure to close and lock all windows and doors and reinforce sliding doors with door jams. If you have a spare key hidden outside, it’s also important to bring it inside before you leave.

Vacations and weekend getaways are meant to be relaxing and fun-filled, so HIG hope these tips help eliminate the stress and worry of being away from your home. And don’t forget, you can find more tips to keep your summer safe and enjoyable in our Water Safety and Heat Safety blogs.

HIG can protect you and your family in more ways than one. From our excellent customer service to our comprehensive insurance offerings, an HIG insurance agent is always ready to help. Visit our website or give us a call today at 508-676-5949! At HIG, keeping you safe and protected is our priority!