The summer travel season is in full swing, but, before you take off, there are a few things you must do to prep your home. 5 On Your Side has expert advice on how to keep your home safe while you're away.
They've already hit the road, but did these travelers leave their home vulnerable to criminals?
"We just make sure the air conditioner is off. The fan's off," said Linda Miller, a Sugarcreek, Ohio resident.
"We shut down lights and air conditioning and all that good stuff so we aren't wasting energy when we're not home," said Lyndell Masterson, who was visiting Cleveland from Pittsburgh, Penn.
Some of these moves are mistakes, that could cost you money. Local Insurance Agent Matt Corsaro said you should actually leave your air conditioner on, just set the temperature a little warmer than usual.
"We recommend to not turn off the air conditioning, especially during hot, humid conditions. You can have mold and other problems in just a few short days," said Corsaro, President and Owner of Corsaro Insurance Group.
So leave the air on, but shut the water off. Doing so will be beneficial to your toilets, refrigerator, dishwasher and washing machine.
"Washing machines are a huge issue. The hoses, if one bursts, in just a matter of an hour, you can have a house full of water and we've had that happen many times unfortunately and the claims are very large," said Corsaro.
Even though you may be in a rush to get your vacation going, there are a few other things you should take time to do.
"We leave lights on in the house and a light on the front porch," said Rob Stiver, a Virginia resident who was driving through Cleveland.
It's best to put a few lights on timers. You can also put a radio on a timer. A little noise will make people think someone is home.
Also, don't forget to unplug electrical appliances like TVs, microwaves and computers, to protect them from any storms.
"We stop our mail," said Masterson.
If you're gone more than a week, have the post office stop your mail delivery, otherwise, have family or friends pick it up.
Experts suggest you tell a neighbor you trust when you're going out of town. Eli Miller, of Sugarcreek, Ohio, takes it even one step further.
"I normally get the town police to check on the house, because it's right close to the road. And i tell them to see anything suspicious to check it out," said Miller.
A big mistake is letting the whole world know you're on vacation, by posting it on facebook and twitter.
"So many people advertise now on their social websites, when they're leaving town or where they're going. That's a good way for burglars and thieves to know when you're out of town as well," said Corsaro.
If you're flying, experts say don't put your home address on luggage tags. It signals to people at the airport and hotel where you live and that you're not there. Instead, use your business or relative's address.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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