Summertime and the vacation is almost here! Here are some tips to protect your home before you leave.Leaving on Vacation? Protect Your Home!

1) First, the obvious: putting lights and TVs on programmable timers. Pro tip: if your timer allows, set them to vary by a few minutes each day. Remember that scene from “Home Alone” when Danny DeVito cruises down the street calling out exact times for lights to come on in each mansion? Don’t be that predictable!

2) Stop mail and newspapers: it’s easy to stop the mail online ( and most likely your newspaper publisher as well. Best of all, when you return you don’t even have to go to the post office; your postal carrier will deliver your held mail whwn you return.

3) Here’s one you might not think of in the summer: TURN OFF YOUR WATER MAIN! No, your pipes aren’t going to burst in summer temperatures, but what if your washing machine blew a hose, or your ice maker seized up? Don’t come home to a flood, just turn off the main before you go! (If you have underground sprinklers, they may be affected; consider that too but carefully weigh a brown lawn against the aggravation of a flooded house!)

4) Keep a vehicle in front of the house if possible, or welcome your neighbors to use your driveway. Moving cars around gives the impression of a home that’s lived-in.

5) Keep the yard looking nice. Arrange for a lawn service to keep your grass trim while you’re away. Besides, that’s one less thing to do when you come home!

Now you can go away and feel more confident that when you return, your home will be just the way you left it!

Have a great time!