8 ways to prep your home for summer vacation

As you ready your family for the summer adventures ahead, don’t forget to prep your home for your absence. Put your mind at ease by following these eight tips to prepare your home for summer vacation.

Prepping your home before your next vacation could save you time and money, and keep your focus on what truly matters: having a fun-filled time with your family and friends.

Ready to pack up your summer clothes and leave work behind for a little while? Summer is the season for family time and fun in the sun, but don’t dive into vacation-mode before preparing your home first. According to the U. S. Department of Justice 2014 Special Report, household property crimes statistically occur at higher rates in the summer. This means that while you’re lounging at the beach or visiting family out-of-town, your “Old Kentucky Home” could be at risk. 

As you ready your family for the summer adventures ahead, don’t forget to prep your home for your absence. Put your mind at ease by following these eight tips to prepare your home for summer vacation:

  1. Batten down the hatches.
    Double-check locks on the windows and doors of your home before leaving. If you have a house alarm, be sure to set it!
     
  2. Light it up.
    Set timers for one or two noticeable indoor lights, or just leave one on continuously. This should help maintain the appearance of a lived-in home. For the exterior of your dwelling, install an outdoor floodlight to fend off potential burglars.
     
  3. Keep up appearances… in the real world and online.
    Consider paying for a lawncare service to maintain the yard if you will be gone for an extended period-of-time, and stop newspaper and mail deliveries. Long grass and piled papers are a dead-giveaway for an empty house.

    Unkempt lawns and mounds of mail aren’t the only signs that nobody is home, however. Criminals are getting savvier every day, and social media activity could make your home an easy target. Don’t let your digital footprint tip off burglars to your absence. Refrain from posting on social media and broadcasting your absence when you are out of town.
     
  4. Prevent pests.
    The last thing you want to come home to after a long trip is pests. Take action beforehand to prevent a buggy-takeover. Empty out all trash, especially if you’ve recently thrown away food, clean out perishable and open items from your fridge and pantry, and run your garbage disposal. Outdoors, if you have a pool, cover it and turn heat settings off to prevent bacteria and algae growth.
     
  5. Watch your water.
    Turn off your water to prevent pipe leaks while you’re out of town, and double-check that nothing is already leaking before you go. These actions can help to prevent costly water damage, and you may even save some money while you’re at it. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heating can account for 14-25% of your home energy cost. When you know you’ll be away from home, set your water heater to “vacation mode” to help conserve energy and money.
     
  6. Be prepared for anything.
    Test your smoke alarms and emergency response systems before departure, and unplug appliances like TVs and toasters in case of a power surge. Leave your air conditioning on, however, to protect your pets, plants, and furniture from heat and humidity.
     
  7. Notify your neighbor.
    Give a spare key to a trustworthy neighbor or family member. Having someone to watch over your home, pets, and plants while you’re away will allow for peace of mind and more relaxation on your vacation.
     
  8. Inventory your home.
    Create a written and photographic record of valuable items, and include information such as serial numbers, make, and model. Give a copy of your list to a family member and keep one for yourself. To be extra sure of your protection, call your insurance agent to clarify what’s specifically covered by your policy. For more information on home inventories, click here.

There can be a lot to do around the house before taking off for a summer retreat, so be sure to make a list — and check it twice! Prepping your home before your next vacation could save you time and money, and keep your focus on what truly matters: having a fun-filled time with your family and friends. From all of us here at Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance, have a wonderful and safe summer vacation!

>> At Kentucky Farm Bureau, we’re just as invested in your Old Kentucky Home as you are. We help protect what’s important to you – from farms and fishing boats to minivans and mobile homes. To see a full list of products we insure, click here.