With daytime temps hovering above 90-degrees, it’s undeniable—summer is upon us. And while this is the time of year tourists travel to Florida’s East Coast to enjoy the sand and surf at our local beaches, there’s a good chance you and your family are heading out-of-town to enjoy a vacation of your own. Before your bags are packed, however, make sure your home safe and secure. Here are some tips from LifeStyle Homes.

  • Inform and empower a trusted neighbor. Make sure a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member can keep a daily eye on your home while you’re away. Leave all your travel and contact info with this person, and encourage him or her to walk around your property and report any suspicious activity to you, or to the police. It’s also a good idea to leave a spare key with him or her, just in case.
  • Retrieve hidden spare keys. On the topic of spare keys, if you typically leave one hidden behind a rock, under your welcome mat, or anywhere else around your home in case of an emergency, make sure you retrieve it before your leave.
  • Double-check that all windows and doors are locked. When you enter “vacation mode,” obvious safeguards may be missed.
  • Set lights on a timer. If you’re lights always on or always off for more than a few days, it may tip off potential intruders that you’re not home. Schedule your lighting to turn on and off at certain times of the day.
  • Make mail and newspaper delivery plans. Either alert the post office to hold your mail until you return, or ask a trusted neighbor to collect it on your behalf. Otherwise, again, potential intruders may see these deliverables piling up and realize that you’re away.
  • Install a security system. If you don’t already own one, now may be a good time to invest in a security system. High-tech security systems with cameras can allow you to check on your home from your smart phone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from anywhere in the world. If you do already own a security system, make sure it’s working properly before it comes time to leave.
  • Make plans to have your yard mowed. In Brevard and Indian River counties, we know how fast grass grows during balmy summer months. If you’ll be out-of-town for for an extended period, arrange to have your yard mowed on a weekly basis.
  • Unplug all electronics and turn up your thermostat. Ensure all electronics are unplugged and your thermostat is set to 80-degrees to avoid unnecessary electricity expenditures. Even powered-down electronics can still expend electricity.
  • Get rid of perishable foods and take out your garbage. There’s nothing worse than returning from vacation to a home that foul-smelling home. Throw out all take-out boxes and other food set to expire, and remember to set out your garbage (or make plans for a neighbor to do so) before you leave.