Summer vacation–an escape from the DC humidity, the hustle–should be a stress-free experience. We’ve got some tips on how to make sure your home is safe and secure while you are away.

Stop the Mail

Thieves are often on the look out for unoccupied homes: an overflowing mailbox is a total giveaway that you’re out of town. The USPS has a service to put a hold on your mail for 3 to 30 days. You can fill out a stop-mail form online or at your local post office. Don’t forget to put a hold on your newspaper as well!

Unplug Appliances

Your toaster, TV and coffee maker won’t get used while you’re away. Unplugging your appliances before you unplug from life saves you on your power bill and prevents power surges from damaging your fancy espresso machine.

Lock Up

Burglars know you keep the spare key under the flower pot or front door mat. A combination-code lockbox is a good alternative–the only people with the code are those you give it too. And make sure you have a backup phone number on your alarm system so a neighbor can lend you a hand if the alarm is triggered while you’re away.

Enjoy your vacation and stay safe!

Image by Eric Fischer on Flickr.