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The long 2014 winter of Central Alberta has inspired many households to call it "enough already" and book an impromptu vacation. The warm spring weather that launched this week only serves to egg us on to take a trip, knowing that the single digit temperatures are forecast once again for the next few weeks ahead. Unplanned excursions however, while spontaneously fun, leave homeowners with little time to prepare. While our communities in Red Deer are safe and sound you still find solace in knowing that you've done all that you can to protect your temporarily vacant home while out of town. In an effort to ease your mind while on your trip we thought we'd offer some easy to follow tips on how to ensure your home indeed remains at peace.

 

5 Tips to Protecting Your Red Deer Home While Out of Town

 

1. Front Yard Maintenance

 

Your front yard (where applicable) is the gateway to your home. It tells passer-byers, including the off-chance passing of an ill-intentioned individual, everything they need to know - such as whether or not the residents are away. Ensure that your front yard is maintained by someone you trust when away during a season that makes your absence noticeable. In the warm spring/summer months keep the lawn cut, watered, and hedges trimmed. In the cold winter keep the walkways and driveways salted, swept, and shoveled.

 

2. Don't Allow Mail to Pile-Up

 

Another telltale sign of a vacant home is a collection of mail, flyers, and subscriptions either spilling out of a mailbox, door slot, or stacking up on the front porch. Once again solicit the services of a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member to stop by once every two days to collect the deliveries.

 

3. Keep the Right Lights On

 

A living room light left on through the entire duration (and thus through the night) of your vacation is as much of a telltale as a home that is pitch black. Be strategic with your lights, leaving on only the subtle ones in the hallways.

 

4. Take to Technology for Mobile Control

 

In today's day and age you need not even resort to the tactic detailed briefly in #3. There are a wide variety of smartphone apps that you can download and program your modern lighting lamps and home theater sound systems to (where applicable). These brilliant tools allow you to turn electronics off and on at your leisure from the comforts of your Waikiki Beach resort.

 

5. Invite Someone to Housesit

 

Of course the best way to give your vacated home that "lived-in" look is to actually have someone stay there while you are away. Hopefully you surround yourself with responsible people to give you a pool to choose from when you are out of town. A few incentives can be thrown in such as a fully stocked refrigerator, and bar. A word to the wise on this tip however, don't invite the in-laws to cover while you are out of town - they will snoop.

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