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One of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make when they are finalizing the details of a vacation is to let the excitement and anticipation of their journey overwhelm their better judgment, which can cause them to leave their home unprotected. If you're planning a vacation, it's best that you also be setting up measures to keep your property safe while you're are away. Here are five tips to help you avoid damages that may result in a homeowners insurance claim.

#1. Hire a house sitter

Without a doubt, the best and most effective way of keeping your home and property safe is to hire a house sitter. Whether it's for the duration of the trip or periodic visits, you'll be able to relax with the peace of mind that everything you have worked so hard for is safe and looked after. This is especially practical for pet owners (plus you can save money on a kennel!).

#2. Stop deliveries

If hiring a house sitter is out of the question, then you will want to have all deliveries (mail, newspaper etc.) postponed. Or if this is not possible, have a friend or neighbor stop by and collect it all. The last thing you need is for a potential criminal to suspect your aren't home by your piled up deliveries. It's a red flag you can easily avoid.

#3. Got an app for that?

Of course there is! There are some special apps developed especially for those going on vacation. One such app, in conjunction with a tiny servo attached to an outlet placed in your home, allows you to turn lights on via a smart phone. There are also several apps that control small, battery-powered cameras so you can have a look when you aren't home at periodic intervals.

#4. Lawn care

To give the illusion that you have not left, schedule for your grass to be cut by a neighbor or local lawn care company. Not only will it stop you from having to take care of a mess when you get home, but it may also keep intruders at bay by giving your home a lived in look.

#5. Double check locks

With all of the excitement of packing and planning, forgetting something as small as locking up may escape you. Come up with a checklist and double check all windows and doors. Make sure all of your basement windows have been latched, and have a quick look at your garage for security. Remembering to take care of the small things can matter the most when you are away.

In the end, it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the things you value most. All it takes is a little time and care, and your home will be protected while you enjoy your vacation. 

Enjoy your winter getaway with peace of mind. Call Abbey Insurance at 404-288-5558 for more information on Decatur home insurance.

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