The pre-vacation home security checklist you need to read

You’re going away! You’ve waited months—possibly longer—for your perfect vacation. Time to pack your bags, board your pets (unless they’re coming!), grab the kids and get away. Is your home truly protected and did you take enough precautions to ensure the safety of your home while you’re gone? Below is a pre-vacation home security checklist to help you go away with peace of mind:

1. Mow your lawn. Homes with well-manicured lawns look like someone is home and tending to the property. Be sure grass is cut prior to leaving, and if you don’t have regular lawncare maintenance and will be gone more than a week or two, consider asking a neighbor (or their high-school kid) to take care of your property while you’re away.

2. Put a hold on mail and newspaper deliveries. Nothing looks like more of an invitation to intruders than delivered newspapers strewn all over the driveway, and a mailbox overflowing with mail. If you’re fortunate enough to have a neighbor willing to take in your mail and newspapers, take advantage of that. Remember, you want your home to look as if you are around and active.

3. Remember your lights. Gone are the days when you’d plug in a timer to some lamps throughout the house and hope they go on at the right times, or that you set them correctly (AM? PM?). A home automation system like Control4 can make your life immensely easier. Not only can you create a vacation setting that mimics your regular household lighting activity, but automation can also raise and lower shades, control outdoor lighting, and arm your security system.

4. Remove hidden house keys. If you keep an extra key hidden around your property for emergencies (can you say old school?) bring it inside while you’re away.

5. Skip the social media. Don’t post vacation plans on social media and wait until you’re home to share those beautiful photos! Why advertise that you are not home?

6. Notify neighbors. If you live within sight of your neighbors, they can also keep an eye out for any suspicious activity on your property.

7. Adjust your heat or air conditioning. Turn down the heat or raise the A/C temperature; why waste energy?

8. Empty your refrigerator and trash. No one enjoys coming home to a stinky fridge.

9. Mind your luggage. Consider using your business address instead of the address of your (empty!) home on luggage tags. Alternatively, just list your cell phone number.

10. Secure outdoor furniture, grill and garbage pails. Ensure nothing is loose and can get damaged, or damage your home during windy conditions.

11. Secure your home. Be sure your security system is armed, and that you’ve notified your home security company that you’ll be away. If you don’t already have a system, consider adding one. The only way you can truly protect your home and your family from intruders and fire/gas/carbon monoxide emergencies is with a professionally installed, centrally monitored home security system. With central station monitoring services, events and alarms are tracked and the police are notified and dispatched. This means if you can’t get to a phone or aren’t home when an alarm sounds, the authorities are still notified immediately.

12. Watch your home remotely. Remote monitoring means you can keep an eye on your home at any time, usually through an app on your smartphone, which provides a live feed from your cameras. You can view the inside and outside of your home, including seeing someone at the door, which is invaluable if you have children that are home while you are on vacation.

13. Consider home automation. From one smart device, you can control your entire home – indoor and outdoor lighting, heat/AC, window shades, security system, sprinklers and more. And—if you forgot to do something, you can adjust it from your phone! You can also receive alerts and view live feed if someone is at your door. Peace of mind cannot be overstated.

By following this pre-vacation home security checklist, you can go away with peace of mind, knowing your home is safe and secure. If you are ready to install a custom security system and/or a home automation system, IDS can create an affordable, efficient system to fit your family’s needs. Contact us today for more information at 516-625-6060 or visit us at

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