How to Keep Your Home Safe and Sound While You're on Vacation

How to Keep Your Home Safe and Sound While You're on Vacation

By Franklin Mutual Insurance
Posted in Home Tips
On July 22, 2022

There’s no place like home, but you don’t always want to stay there. Sometimes, you need to get away. Unfortunately, when you’re not home, others may want to crash at your place – or crash through your back window. So how can you protect your home and make sure your snow globe collection remains intact?  

Here are 10 essential home security tips to help keep your home safe this summer (and during every getaway).

#1 – Turn off your lights (and then turn them back on)

One of the worst indictors that you’re not home is leaving the lights – especially outdoor light fixtures – on all the time. Instead, keep your home safe during vacation by investing in smart LED light bulbs that can turn on and off, preferably at different times at night.

You can also manage this with a smart power strip. Plug lights into the strip and then turn the strip on and off with your phone. Not sure if this working? Set up a digital camera that you can stream onto your phone, too!

#2 – Don’t keep a stray key outside


Having a rock or flowerpot outside your home with a key hidden underneath it is so last century. Not only is this extremely unsafe when you’re not home, but it can also allow unwanted guests inside while you’re home, too! If you have a trusted neighbor, it’s best to let them know you’ll be out of town and leave the key with them for emergencies.

You may also want to consider installing a smart lock. This way, your neighbor can use a combination or even an app to get into your home. You’ll also have a record of who goes in and out.

#3 – Upgrade your home security

If you have a lot of valuables, you may want to consider getting a home security system with 24/7 monitoring. If you don’t need to make your home Fort Knox but want some added reassurance, then consider installing some smart home tech devices.

Maybe install a video doorbell, so you can see if anyone is on your lawn. Add motion sensor lighting. Perhaps install a camera or two even inside, so you can see what’s happening when you’re not home. These simple additions can help you gain peace of mind and may also deter someone from entering.

#4 – Alert a trusted neighbor

Should you tell your neighbors you’re going away? The answer is – maybe…? The real question is – do you trust your neighbors? If you have neighbor-friends you trust, then tell them you’ll be away and ask them to watch over the house.

You should also ask them to pick up any loose papers that may be around, including flyers stuffed into your screen door handle or mailbox. Those can be markers left by burglars, who may target your home if the markers remain for a few days.

#5 – Complete lawn maintenance – even when you’re away! 


An unkempt lawn is a red flag for burglars. Arrange for lawn care services to keep your lawn cut while you’re away or cut your lawn on a lower setting, so it won’t grow tall while you’re gone. 

#6 – Stop your mail and all deliveries 

Another surefire sign that you’re not home is excess mail. Either stop the mail from coming to your home (via the USPS website) or get that trusted neighbor to pick up your newspapers, magazines, and bills.

Also, keep an eye on additional packages. If you’re getting one via FedEx or UPS, you can log into their websites and have them hold the packages until you return.

#7 – Hide your most precious possessions 

You really shouldn’t take those diamond earrings on vacation, but you really shouldn’t leave them around, either. If you have expensive items, such as jewelry, lock them away in a safe or safety deposit box. Keep all other expensive items out of sight of windows.

Also, update your home inventory. This way, if an unfortunate event occurs – burglary or otherwise – your insurance company can help you recoup your lost items. 

#8 – Take out your wall AC unit

A wall unit air conditioner is an easy access point into your home, so take it out before you leave and lock the window. If for some reason you can’t take out your wall unit, secure it with the essential screws, wires, etc., so someone won’t be able to push it inside.

#9 – Prevent a home disaster


When your home is alone, it can have issues you may not be able to foresee; however, you may be able to prevent damage by turning off the water coming into your home and setting your programmable thermostat to at least 55°F.

Shutting off your water helps to prevent a massive leak that can cause extensive water damage to your home when you’re not there. Keeping your home at 55°F or above can prevent your pipes from breaking. (The latter tip may be best utilized for winter getaways.)

#10 – Secure your pool


Pools are great for summer fun at home, but they can be dangerous when you’re not around. Every time you are away from home, lock the gate. If you’re going to be away for a long period of time, consider covering your pool. This can help to prevent a potential deadly situation and keep your pool clean!

Bonus Tip! - Download the FMI HomeAssist app

At FMI, we’re passionate about protection and prevention. That’s why we’re happy to offer our policyholders FMI HomeAssist, powered by vipHomeLink. This free app and service helps you keep track of important matters concerning your home, including critical weather alerts. It’s just one of the many ways FMI goes the extra mile for our policyholders.

Download today from Google Play or the App Store!



When you’re a Franklin Mutual Insurance policyholder, you can count on the peace of mind that only comes from knowing that someone’s got your back. We’re proud to provide more coverage, with less exclusions—with customized policies that are designed for the way you live.

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