Planning a vacation is always exciting. You can look forward to new adventures, new locations, and new memories that you are likely to cherish forever. However, if you forget to keep your home safe when you aren’t there, you could come home to disaster. From theft to fire, when you aren’t there to look out for it, your home is vulnerable to a lot of dangers unless you prepare.

Get a House sitter
A house sitter will do two things. For one, it will ensure there is someone at your home who is consistently checking on pets, locks, and other things to make sure it is in as good of shape as it was when you left. Secondly, this will deter any thieves who think your home is abandoned and alone. Make sure you give them information for any neighbors, local officers, vets, or other people they may need to contact while you are gone.

Don’t tell Social Media
While it is tempting to brag when you will be out of town, it is not a smart practice. Vocalizing online that you will be gone is like telling thieves your home is unattended for a long period, giving them an exact window of opportunity. Wait until after your trip to post pictures and share your trip with everyone.

Tip off police
Especially if you live in a small community, letting police officers know when you will be gone for more than a week will allow them to plan to patrol your neighborhood at least once or twice while you are gone. Seeing a police car regularly in an area will deter thieves who know your house is now being watched.

Get a neighborly lookout
The one time nosey neighbors come in handy is when you are out of town. It can be the same person you have watching your house, but let a neighbor know you will be gone so they can inform you if any unidentified cars are at the home.

Don’t let your home look abandoned
Set light in and around the home to timers, so they go on and off at various times to make your home look lived in. Leaving all lights on can be suspicious if a burglar is watching at 3am, so timers help it look like someone is there turning lights on as needed. Also, see if you are able to stop your mail and newspaper delivery for the duration of your trip, so it doesn’t pile up.

Unplug electronics
Go through your home and unplug any electronics that don’t serve a purpose while you are away. This will not only lower your electricity bill, but will also help prevent an electrical fire form happening in the home.

Lock up
Make sure every door, window, nook and cranny are locked before you leave. IF you have a spare key, place it in the house so no one else can use. Make sure your home is ready to take care of itself while you are enjoying a home away from home.