Vacation- home precautions?

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Howie
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Vacation- home precautions?

Post by Howie » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:39 pm

For a week away from home, what precautions do you take? I normally shut off the water to my washer, bump up the thermostat, have a neighbor check mail/deliveries, and leave a light or two on. What else is recommended?

robertalpert
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by robertalpert » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:11 am

If you have a reliable main valve; then shut the water to whole house.

Minty
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by Minty » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:22 am

I set the manual lock on the garage door, and turn the hot water heater to "pilot".
Core Four with nominal bonds and TIPS.

Hockey10
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by Hockey10 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:56 am

1. turn off water main
2. turn off hot water heater
3. turn off AC in summer ; lower heater temperature in winter
4. have at least one light on a timer
5. stop mail from post office
6. cut grass the day before you leave ; in the Fall, pick up leaves the day before you leave
7. tell your most trusted neighbor your schedule and give them a house key and phone number
8. unplug high end electronics such as TVs and router / computer
9. hide laptops, Ipads, or any expensive items that can be easily stolen
10. only tell people that need to know - close friends, family, and your trusted neighbors
11. water any new plants / grass the day you leave
12. ask neighbor to put trash can out the night before it is picked up
13. do not post your pictures on social media
14. enjoy your trip

Traveler
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by Traveler » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:49 am

Gosh, what a laundry list for a one-week trip. I do 4-5 one-week or longer trips a year and I simply set the thermostat to not kick on as often (whether it's heat in winter or AC in summer), take the trash out, close the blinds or curtains, unplug my laptop, tell one neighbor I will be gone until xyz date and go.

texasdiver
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by texasdiver » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:01 pm

Minty wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:22 am
I set the manual lock on the garage door, and turn the hot water heater to "pilot".
How do you do this? Do you have a separate deadbolt or something on the garage door or is i a setting on your automatic door opener?

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Conch55
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by Conch55 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:07 pm

1. turn off water main
2. turn off hot water heater
3. turn off AC in summer ; lower heater temperature in winter
4. have at least one light on a timer
5. stop mail from post office
6. cut grass the day before you leave ; in the Fall, pick up leaves the day before you leave
7. tell your most trusted neighbor your schedule and give them a house key and phone number
8. unplug high end electronics such as TVs and router / computer
9. hide laptops, Ipads, or any expensive items that can be easily stolen
10. only tell people that need to know - close friends, family, and your trusted neighbors
11. water any new plants / grass the day you leave
12. ask neighbor to put trash can out the night before it is picked up
13. do not post your pictures on social media
14. enjoy your trip
This list would my plan for a longer trip, maybe a couple of weeks or more. Weekly getaways require minimal action although I do hire a neighborhood kid to bring in mail, water plants, etc. and a trusted friend lives close by to keep an eye on things and take care of less frequent events.

whomever
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by whomever » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:14 pm

Do you have a separate deadbolt or something on the garage door
I dunno what Minty does, but you can usually find (or I suppose make) a hole in the track just above a wheel, and put a padlock or other obstruction through it. I've also seen people put a C-clamp right above a wheel.

sport
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by sport » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:36 pm

In addition, I turn off the ice maker in the fridge. I find that if I turn off the water, the icemaker jams up if I don't turn it off.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:18 pm

Traveler wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:49 am
Gosh, what a laundry list for a one-week trip. I do 4-5 one-week or longer trips a year and I simply set the thermostat to not kick on as often (whether it's heat in winter or AC in summer), take the trash out, close the blinds or curtains, unplug my laptop, tell one neighbor I will be gone until xyz date and go.
+1

Except no need to inform a neighbor. One of mine always knows everyone else's movements.
Plus: have the post office hold the mail and have a friend come by daily to feed the pets if they are not boarded.

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Devil's Advocate
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by Devil's Advocate » Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:25 pm

Hockey10 wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:56 am
1. turn off water main
2. turn off hot water heater
3. turn off AC in summer ; lower heater temperature in winter
4. have at least one light on a timer
5. stop mail from post office
6. cut grass the day before you leave ; in the Fall, pick up leaves the day before you leave
7. tell your most trusted neighbor your schedule and give them a house key and phone number
8. unplug high end electronics such as TVs and router / computer
9. hide laptops, Ipads, or any expensive items that can be easily stolen
10. only tell people that need to know - close friends, family, and your trusted neighbors
11. water any new plants / grass the day you leave
12. ask neighbor to put trash can out the night before it is picked up
13. do not post your pictures on social media
14. enjoy your trip
These are good tips...I also have a couple "dogs". One stationed inside out of sight at each entrance. These electronic dogs use ultrasound I believe and will bark when someone walks up. Silent when no one movement is detected...

DA

momvesting
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by momvesting » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:41 pm

Don’t turn off your main water if you have a sprinkler system that runs off of that water. We made that rather costly mistake a few years ago. We also put a few lights and an old manual-type radio on timers.

Minty
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by Minty » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:44 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:01 pm
Minty wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:22 am
I set the manual lock on the garage door, and turn the hot water heater to "pilot".
How do you do this? Do you have a separate deadbolt or something on the garage door or is i a setting on your automatic door opener?
Sorry, Texasdiver, I've been reading the forum without signing in for a while. In case anyone is still interested, the manual locking device is apparently called a "side latch" or "side lock." It is not really a deadbolt. A side latch was part of the garage door system in both homes I have owned; I assumed (but I guess I am wrong) that it was part of all garage doors. But another Youtube video says that most garage doors that don't have one have a slot in the rail so one can be added.
Core Four with nominal bonds and TIPS.

texasdiver
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Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by texasdiver » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:35 pm

Minty wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:44 pm
texasdiver wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:01 pm
Minty wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:22 am
I set the manual lock on the garage door, and turn the hot water heater to "pilot".
How do you do this? Do you have a separate deadbolt or something on the garage door or is i a setting on your automatic door opener?
Sorry, Texasdiver, I've been reading the forum without signing in for a while. In case anyone is still interested, the manual locking device is apparently called a "side latch" or "side lock." It is not really a deadbolt. A side latch was part of the garage door system in both homes I have owned; I assumed (but I guess I am wrong) that it was part of all garage doors. But another Youtube video says that most garage doors that don't have one have a slot in the rail so one can be added.
Just went out and looked at both my garage doors. Nothing like that on either one. Although there are holes in the side tracks so I could easily just push a 1/4" bolt through one of the holes to prevent the roller from getting past and that would effectively do the same thing. But there isn't an obvious and easy way to padlock it from the inside.

Another obvious security measure would be to just use a ladder and unplug the automatic garage door motor so that no one can use a remote or hack the rolling code and get it open that way.

I usually have the neighbor girl coming and going feedin the cats and putting out the garbage so I don't do any of that.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:41 pm

Simply throw the breaker on the garage doors. The bolt stops someone from manually popping the pullcord release from the outside.

texasdiver
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Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by texasdiver » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:45 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:41 pm
Simply throw the breaker on the garage doors. The bolt stops someone from manually popping the pullcord release from the outside.
Duh...even simpler than unplugging them.

Our garage door doesn't have windows. How would someone manually pop the pull cord release from the outside?

RickBoglehead
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:53 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:45 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:41 pm
Simply throw the breaker on the garage doors. The bolt stops someone from manually popping the pullcord release from the outside.
Duh...even simpler than unplugging them.

Our garage door doesn't have windows. How would someone manually pop the pull cord release from the outside?
I am not going to answer that, but suffice it to say that a search engine will provide the answer.

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dm200
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by dm200 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:53 pm

I would not stop the mail from the post office, but rather ask neighbor to pick it up each day.

drawpoker
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by drawpoker » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:53 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:53 pm
I would not stop the mail from the post office, but rather ask neighbor to pick it up each day.
dm200 is absolutely right on this. Several years ago a couple of neighborhood thefts were traced back to a p/t temp employee at the local post office who was feeding info about vacant houses to his drug addict pals.

Also, unless you have 2 cars and can leave one in the driveway, ask a trusted neighbor to park his car in your driveway for a few of those nights you are away.

keepingitsimple
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by keepingitsimple » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:51 pm

If you manually lock your garage door (whether with a side-lock or makeshift lock/bolt) just be sure to remember not to hit the "open" button on your garage door remote when you return. At least until you've unlocked the manual lock.

Also, if you have the post office hold your mail, you should have it stopped a few days prior to leaving. Somehow stopped mail sometimes continues to appear.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:56 pm

keepingitsimple wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:51 pm
If you manually lock your garage door (whether with a side-lock or makeshift lock/bolt) just be sure to remember not to hit the "open" button on your garage door remote when you return. At least until you've unlocked the manual lock.
This ^^^. Turning off breaker ensures you won't open it by mistake.

keepingitsimple
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by keepingitsimple » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:38 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:56 pm
keepingitsimple wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:51 pm
If you manually lock your garage door (whether with a side-lock or makeshift lock/bolt) just be sure to remember not to hit the "open" button on your garage door remote when you return. At least until you've unlocked the manual lock.
This ^^^. Turning off breaker ensures you won't open it by mistake.
Agreed :sharebeer

denovo
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by denovo » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:15 am

drawpoker wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:53 pm
dm200 wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:53 pm
I would not stop the mail from the post office, but rather ask neighbor to pick it up each day.
dm200 is absolutely right on this. Several years ago a couple of neighborhood thefts were traced back to a p/t temp employee at the local post office who was feeding info about vacant houses to his drug addict pals.

Also, unless you have 2 cars and can leave one in the driveway, ask a trusted neighbor to park his car in your driveway for a few of those nights you are away.
+1 on the mail. Same would apply to the newspapers. Idea is to limit number of people who know you are gone.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

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LadyGeek
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:54 am

A post showing a video "how to" of break-in techniques was removed. While they can easily be found on google, let's not emphasize them here.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

michaeljc70
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:07 am

keepingitsimple wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:51 pm
If you manually lock your garage door (whether with a side-lock or makeshift lock/bolt) just be sure to remember not to hit the "open" button on your garage door remote when you return. At least until you've unlocked the manual lock.
Yep. My last two places had the side lock on the garage door. I have accidentally forgot it was manually locked and when I got home and hit the opener. A couple of times, it was fine. The last time the metal cable broke on one side and I had to have it fixed. I have a freezer in the garage so I can't turn the breaker off. My garage door opener has a "lock" mode and I use that now in case I forget the side lock is on.

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dm200
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by dm200 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:41 am

drawpoker wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:53 pm
dm200 wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:53 pm
I would not stop the mail from the post office, but rather ask neighbor to pick it up each day.
dm200 is absolutely right on this. Several years ago a couple of neighborhood thefts were traced back to a p/t temp employee at the local post office who was feeding info about vacant houses to his drug addict pals.
Also, unless you have 2 cars and can leave one in the driveway, ask a trusted neighbor to park his car in your driveway for a few of those nights you are away.
Yes - changed patterns of car(s) can indicate you are away.

On the other hand, it is best to not park on the street while away because of possible things coming up like street paving, etc.

UALflyer
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by UALflyer » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:16 am

Hockey10 wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:56 am
3. turn off AC in summer
If your summers are humid, this is a very bad idea. Your a/c, in addition to lowering the temperature, also dehumidifies the air. When the air is humid and you do not run your a/c, you are creating conditions that are extremely conducive to mold.

Turn up the temperature a few degrees, but do not turn it off.

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dm200
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by dm200 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:25 am

UALflyer wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:16 am
Hockey10 wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:56 am
3. turn off AC in summer
If your summers are humid, this is a very bad idea. Your a/c, in addition to lowering the temperature, also dehumidifies the air. When the air is humid and you do not run your a/c, you are creating conditions that are extremely conducive to mold.

Turn up the temperature a few degrees, but do not turn it off
.
I agree.

Finridge
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by Finridge » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:58 am

Devil's Advocate wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:25 pm

These are good tips...I also have a couple "dogs". One stationed inside out of sight at each entrance. These electronic dogs use ultrasound I believe and will bark when someone walks up. Silent when no one movement is detected...

DA
Where can I get these "dogs" from? I want...

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Devil's Advocate
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by Devil's Advocate » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:33 am


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dm200
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by dm200 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:50 pm

Some just suggest a dog bowl in plain sight.

squirm
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by squirm » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:08 pm

We tell our one neighbor we'll be gone and have him pick up our mail...that's about it, besides making sure everything is locked up. Usually when we get back we find the deer have had their way with everything.

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gasdoc
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by gasdoc » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:14 am

Traveler wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:49 am
Gosh, what a laundry list for a one-week trip. I do 4-5 one-week or longer trips a year and I simply set the thermostat to not kick on as often (whether it's heat in winter or AC in summer), take the trash out, close the blinds or curtains, unplug my laptop, tell one neighbor I will be gone until xyz date and go.
Yup. That describes our 1 week vacation list.

gasdoc

InMyDreams
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by InMyDreams » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:09 am

Leaving a car in the driveway also presents an obstacle to a "mover" pulling in and packing up your house.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:18 am

Hockey10 wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:56 am

2. turn off hot water heater
I do this for long trips but how much $ does it actually save? I've heard that water heaters are very efficient at maintaining the temperature and about 98% of the electricity used is to heat up new water after using hot water.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:20 am

gasdoc wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:14 am
Traveler wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:49 am
Gosh, what a laundry list for a one-week trip. I do 4-5 one-week or longer trips a year and I simply set the thermostat to not kick on as often (whether it's heat in winter or AC in summer), take the trash out, close the blinds or curtains, unplug my laptop, tell one neighbor I will be gone until xyz date and go.
Yup. That describes our 1 week vacation list.

gasdoc
That's my typical too. But I also do a USPS mail hold which is super easy and the mail doesn't accumulate in my mail box.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:38 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:18 am
Hockey10 wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:56 am

2. turn off hot water heater
I do this for long trips but how much $ does it actually save? I've heard that water heaters are very efficient at maintaining the temperature and about 98% of the electricity used is to heat up new water after using hot water.
I did a search and found this - viewtopic.php?t=143180
Looks like it saves a dollar or two per week.

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dm200
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by dm200 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:41 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:20 am
gasdoc wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:14 am
Traveler wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:49 am
Gosh, what a laundry list for a one-week trip. I do 4-5 one-week or longer trips a year and I simply set the thermostat to not kick on as often (whether it's heat in winter or AC in summer), take the trash out, close the blinds or curtains, unplug my laptop, tell one neighbor I will be gone until xyz date and go.
Yup. That describes our 1 week vacation list.
gasdoc
That's my typical too. But I also do a USPS mail hold which is super easy and the mail doesn't accumulate in my mail box.
We ask a neighbor to take it. Folks at the post office now know when you are away.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:53 pm

dm200 wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:41 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:20 am
gasdoc wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:14 am
Traveler wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:49 am
Gosh, what a laundry list for a one-week trip. I do 4-5 one-week or longer trips a year and I simply set the thermostat to not kick on as often (whether it's heat in winter or AC in summer), take the trash out, close the blinds or curtains, unplug my laptop, tell one neighbor I will be gone until xyz date and go.
Yup. That describes our 1 week vacation list.
gasdoc
That's my typical too. But I also do a USPS mail hold which is super easy and the mail doesn't accumulate in my mail box.
We ask a neighbor to take it. Folks at the post office now know when you are away.
That doesn't really concern me. I ask a neighbor to collect packages but figure it's pointless to bother them every day to collect my mail. I've talked to police officers in my town about who and how a typical break in occurs. Most break ins happen when people are at work not while on vacation. I already have some precautions to help deter a break in.

Trism
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Re: Vacation- home precautions?

Post by Trism » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:58 am

Sometimes it's okay to run with scissors.

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