Tips for vacation-proofing your home!

Leaving for the summer home in East Hampton for two weeks? Or, if you’re like most Americans, taking a quick trip to Club Getaway for a couple of days?

If one of these or some other summer trip is on the horizon, keeping your home safe while away is definitely something to consider and take steps to ensure!

These are some tips that may seem obvious and completely commonsensical but in reality are things that many of us may not do.

From The SKY Blog:

Maintain the Illusion you’re Home:  While you relax on vacation, it is still possible to have it seem like you never left.  Purchase and utilize light timers so your property is not dark all the time, have somebody mow your lawn; even having a sprinkler watering your lawn is a deterrent for a criminal that wants to break into your home.

Keep the Vacation on the Down Low:  While social media makes it seem that in today’s age everybody knows everybody’s business, there is no need to advertise you are going on vacation.  Don’t upload those beach photographs you took until you return home.  Witty criminals may be able to find out through the internet and social media that you aren’t home and may use that to their advantage.  Tell your relatives and perhaps a trusted neighbor that you will be out of town, but don’t let the whole world know.

Stop Your Mail: An overflowing mailbox is a giveaway that your house has not had somebody in it for a while.  Ask a trusted neighbor to collect your mail or get the post office to hold it until you return.  Accumulation of mail is one of the biggest tip-offs to a thief that a home is vacant.

Do Away With the Spare Key: Although that extra key underneath the fake rock or doormat may have saved you once or twice, there is no reason to take that risk if there is nobody entering your home for an extended period of time.  If you have a relative or neighbor taking care of your house, hand deliver to them a copy of the key to reduce risks.

Locks and Alarms:  Locks need to be locked and alarms need to be armed in order for maximum security and safety.  Consider adding a deadbolt to a door that may not have one. For a faster response from the police, decrease the time allowed to disarm your security system in case someone does try to break in.

Keep Cars in your Driveway:  If you only own one car that you drove to the airport or took for a road trip, ask a neighbor keep their car in your driveway.  If your driveway is empty for a couple days, it is a telltale sign that nobody  is home and your property may be ripe for the picking.


Written by Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions specializing in the areas of New York City, Long Island and Westchester.

Remember that you have the right to choose your own title company (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at

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