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Summer is here and you may be counting the days until you head to the mountains, lake or the beach for a few days of VACATION! Remember, your home security shouldn't be on vacation as well. You may have adequate home insurance protection, but there are things you can do to help protect your property and keep your insurance premiums at a minimum. Let's look at six ways protect your home while on vacation.

Don't post your vacation plans on Facebook and other social media
Wait until you get back from vacation to tell the world where you went and how long you stayed. If an opportunist burglar finds that you will be gone, that's just an open invitation for theft.

Secure sliding doors
Locks on most sliding doors aren't very sturdy. If your sliding doors lead to a deck or patio, a burglar could have easy access to your home and personal property. Make sure you lay a security bar made of sturdy wood or metal in the track of the door before you leave.

Don't hide keys outside your home
Burglars already know that people hide house keys under door mats and flower pots. If someone must have access to your home while you are gone, hand them the key in person.

Make STOP arrangements for mail and newspapers
The post office will hold delivery of your mail but you need to go in a fill out the stop (and restart) order. Another way of handling is to have someone you trust check your mail every day. The same is true with newspapers. Stop delivery for the time you will be gone or have a neighbor pick them up for you.

Make sure your house looks lived in
Inexpensive timers installed on various lights and/or radios around the house gives the impression that someone is home at night.

Lock up
You would be surprised to know the number of burglaries committed through an unlocked door or window. Before you leave, make sure all doors and windows are properly locked.

Your vacation will be much more enjoyable knowing you have done your part in protecting your home against damage or theft. One of the main factors in determining insurance premiums is the number of claims filed. So, by doing a few simple things to protect and maintain your home, you are also helping control what you pay. HAPPY VACATION!

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