Keep your home safe while you travel

safe at home


Summer is here! For most of us, that means vacation time. Leaving your house empty for days or weeks at a time can pose some risks. Use our handy checklist to keep your home safe when you travel.


  • Stop the newspaper and mail, or ask a neighbor to get them daily.
  • Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway occasionally, so it looks like someone is home
  • Put at least one inside light on a timer.
  • Have outdoor lighting on timers, if possible, and consider installing motion-activated flood lights.
  • If you will be away longer than a week, arrange to have your lawn and garden maintained.
  • Unplug TVs, computers, and small appliances.
  • Put your water heater in “vacation” mode.
  • Turn off water valves to the dishwasher, washing machine, and all sinks.
  • Make sure your smoke detectors are in working order.
  • Notify your home security company that you are out of town. Make sure you have home alarm signs posted in main windows and in your yard.
  • Do not leave valuables such as jewelry or electronics out in view. Consider hiding small items in unusual places (and write down where, if you are prone to forget!)
  • Never leave information about your travel dates on your answering machine.
  • Take out all trash, clean out your refrigerator, and run your garbage disposer with a cup of vinegar and some ice to clean it out.
  • Leave emergency contact information (numbers of family or close friends) with your neighbors, in case you cannot be reached immediately.

Another, often overlooked, precaution is limiting your social media posts. If you simply can’t resist showing off your daily adventures, make sure all your permissions are set to “friends only” or similar. Even so, social media postings still can fall into the wrong hands and act as a tip-off to criminals that your house is an easy target. Consider saving photos and making a post after your trip.

Wherever your travels take you, all of us at General Southwest hope you have a safe and happy summer!

Did you know General Southwest offers Travel Insurance? Click HERE for more information, or contact your GSW agent to learn more.

Tips courtesy of Zywave, Inc. and
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