Checklist for Locking Up Your Seasonal Home

As summer comes to a close, it’s time to think about closing your seasonal home. It doesn't matter if you own a tiny cabin in the woods, a luxury vacation home or plan to head south for the winter, Taking steps to secure a second home against thieves and other types of property damage while it sits empty is key to reducing worry and protecting the property's value. Plus, nothing beats coming back next year and enjoying all the home offers without cleaning up a big mess.

Keep some lights on!
Yep, you read that right – make it look like someone’s in your vacation home by keeping a couple of lights on timers. This helps make the house lived in. Better yet, change the bulbs on those lights to Zwave devices, and you can control the lights from afar, including changing the time the lights go and off.

Protect pipes
If your home has a fire sprinkler system, do not turn off the water. Instead of turning off the water, add a Zwave thermostat so you can boost the temp in the house to 55 degrees so the pipes don’t freeze on super cold nights. You can still turn off water at washing machines and dishwashers to make sure leaks don’t cause a major headache Don’t forget to drain and turn off outdoor water faucets. Best yet, add a water flow sensor, then monitor it from your smartphone to stay on top of any problems.  

Test smoke detectors
We recommend installing smoke alarms on every floor and testing them right before you shut down the house. Don’t forget – smoke alarms need to be replaced at least once every 10 years, the typical lifespan of a detector. Next, make sure the sensors are working as part of your fire alarm system. Then use your smartphone to monitor the system from afar for added peace of mind.

Add motion-sensor floodlights
Deter would-be thieves by installing motion-sensor lights near ground level windows and doors.

 Store outdoor equipment
Put outdoor furniture and sports equipment in a locked shed, garage or indoors to keep thieves from stealing it.

Lock everything
Lock all windows as well as entrance, sliding glass and garage doors. Don’t forget to lock up your shed with a heavy duty padlock.

Arm your alarm.
Put your alarm system on your smartphone, then you can arm the alarm from afar if you forget. Also, if you need workers to come into the home, use your smartphone to disarm the alarm to let them in. In addition, let police know the property will be vacant so they can keep an eye on it.

Ask a friend.
Ask a neighbor to occasionally check on your home while you’re away. Ask them to pick up flyers and other materials left at the front door so it doesn’t look like you’re gone.  Don’t forget to request mail forwarding service from the post office.